Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blip Nation Interview: Meet thesearejams

Blipper since: September 3, 2009

Pete Dulin: Where in the world do you live?

thesearejams: San Francisco, CA

Dulin: How did you discover

thesearejams: My workwife, @TenaciousF, bullied me into joining. She probably got tired of me playing backseat driver on her account.

Dulin: Pick someone from your past that you never get to see. What song would you dedicate to him or her?

thesearejams: My best friend in kindergarten and I discovered Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" through the music video. It was a pretty important moment in our lives. I'd dedicate that song to him.

Dulin: Dream concert lineup?

thesearejams: YACHT, tUnE-yArDs, and Tanlines play Great American Music Hall. They could probably fill a bigger venue, but Great American's just so good looking. I don't know how much overlap there is among their fanbases, but I'm sure everyone would walk away from that line-up feeling really positive about life.

Dulin: Name a band or artist that "sold out" but you still respect and explain why.

thesearejams: Los Campesinos! had the intro of their song "You! Me! Dancing!" used in a Budweiser commercial. I mean, it's pretty hard to be mad about anything a band with that many members does for money as long as they're not endorsing something totally evil. They have eight mouths to feed, of course they're going to let folks like Microsoft and Budweiser use their music. The swell of that intro works perfectly with the commercial in a way that few songs would, so the decision makes aesthetic sense. And the band has a really good sense about it, even commemorating the commercial with a "Los Campesinos!: King of Bands" shirt.

Dulin: You've traveled back in time. What music knowledge of the present would you like to pass on to your friends from high school?


1) Stop listening to all that happy hardcore, you guys. That way lies madness.

2) Pay more attention to local music. We've got a bunch of it and, sure, it doesn't have the polish the stuff on your computer does but you'll like it live too. No, really.

3) Get into this "Canadian indie rock" thing. They're making good music up there, I promise. There's a band called "The Arcade Fire" that's going to play a small venue in 2004. Don't miss that show, no matter what.

4) And cut it out with the J-Pop, too. That music's going to get you the opposite of laid in college.

Dulin: What artist would you most like to meet? What would you ask?

thesearejams: Kim Ann Foxman. I must know the secrets of her gravity-defying hair.

Dulin: What kind of music did you dislike when you were in high school?

thesearejams: I had some pretty unreasonable boundaries on what I'd listen to in high school. I refused to listen to rap or any music too many other people liked. I got over my dislike of rap in college, but I'm still working on that other one. I wasn't a fan of all the Godspeed You! Black Emperor my stoner friends listened to either, but I totally stand behind that opinion.

Dulin: What Blip DJs do you follow for their music taste, commentary, humor, attractive but misleading avatar image, or other reason?

thesearejams: I follow @CreepyGirl exclusively for the avatars. Everyone else is music. @Modster, @cuezaireekaa, and @noiseAnnoys83 are three DJs who really impress me with their taste. But @orangekittypie is probably the DJ who gets the most props from me.

Dulin: You're on a world tour? What three countries would you travel to and what DJs would you visit?

thesearejams: Definitely the UK to visit @CreepyGirl, @TomServo and @Arth, then @Alvaroxx in Chile and finally Canada to hang out with @Fated and @muffinlab.

Dulin: What prompts you to pick the songs you blip?

thesearejams: I'll blip whatever I think will get me through the workday. Mostly it'll be stuff that I've listened to recently or something by an artist I want to hear more from. Occasionally, though, I'll get songs I only sort of know stuck in my head that I have to hear. You know that is: you know the name of the song and maybe half of the chorus but none of the verses. Or half of the name, one verse and none of the chorus. Whatever it is, it's not enough to jog your memory, but not so little you can forget it. You have to hear the whole thing.

And that's how I wound up blipping "Bette Davis Eyes."

Dulin: Do you listen to local/regional music in your much? Favorite artists?

thesearejams: I've been trying to get out to more local shows now that I live in the city, but it seems like I mostly catch local artists when then open for touring bands. I caught some good ones recently, though. I'd recommend Nobunny, The Okmoniks, Moon Duo, and A B & the Sea.

Dulin: Pick one song that encapsulates your personality, and explain why.

thesearejams: Here We Go Magic - Collector. The upbeat, poppy sound of the tune is pretty representative of me and ever since I got those new shelves a few months ago, I've been treating them like a challenge. Moving out of this house it going to be a nightmare.

Dulin: If you could blip one song that could reach everyone on the planet, what would you choose?

thesearejams: Elvis Costello and the Attractions - "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" because seriously, you guys. C'mon.

Dulin: What is the earliest age that you can remember listening to music? What artists/bands did you like in your youth?

thesearejams: My parents have great taste in music. They raised me on Talking Heads, Was (Not Was), Elvis Costello, and Frank Zappa, just to name a few. They have some story about me dancing in the womb at a UB40 concert, but the first concert I remember going to was King Sunny Adé at the age of five. My favorite cassettes as a kid were the Breakin' soundtrack and a Bernie Krause single called "Jungle Shoes."

Dulin: What's your dream job?

thesearejams: If I could be a rich eccentric, I totally would. I think I'd be great and spending money in hilarious ways and generally making a spectacle of myself. Barring that, I'd be the owner of a divey music venue with an air hockey table in the back room.

Dulin: You're a talent scout about to break the next music sensation to the world. What do they sound like and look like? Where are they from? Title of their first hit song?
thesearejams: What the America needs is another boy band. We haven't had one of those in a while. Based out of LA, they'll rock that Vampire Weekend nice young man look but with edgier hair and accessories.  I'll let Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco handle the music side of things. I'll concern myself with making sure their internet personas stay hilarious and relevant.

Dulin: How do you feel about current pop music (any genre) appearing in a commercial?

thesearejams: As long as the musician has a say in who uses it, I have no problem with it. Musicians gotta get paid, too.

Dulin: You've been chosen to design an album cover for a band or artist's latest work. The image will have no connection to the music and you have free reign. Who's the band or artist? What's the album cover concept?

thesearejams: I'd love to handle the art on the next Fang Island album. I'd commission the artist of True American Dog News to put together a collage of the whole band high-fiving a bunch of dogs with a backdrop of fighter jets and eagles.

Dulin: Any other thoughts to share?

We need a mixtape exchange. That'd be the coolest.

Pete Dulin writes about food and music for print and online publications.

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