Just placed online, a chat with Stars frontman Torquil Campbell. Torq talked about the new album, In Our Bedroom After the War, the rise of the Canadian music scene and how it reflects what happened in Omaha, and more. Read it here. Part of what didn’t make it into the story was Torq’s comments on the slow rise of Stars, how just a few years ago the band was virtually unknown beyond the its core underground fanbase. “We spent the first three years with the seven of us in a minivan, sharing a single hotel room and playing to nobody,” he said. “We played in Chicago and Boston and New York and Philly six or seven times, and each time a few more people were there.”
Campbell said it wasn’t until last year that the band saw a jump in show attendance. Part of the reason — opening for Death Cab for Cutie. “They helped us connect with an audience that hadn’t heard us before,” he said, adding that the connection with Death Cab came from mutual associates and the fact that DCFC were fans and wanted to make it happen. “It’s not very often that you get a band who cares so much for the opener and would be so generous to an unknown band. Most of the time when you open you get a couple hundred dollars. They gave us a thousand. We got lucky, man.”
Up until the DCFC show, however, there were some dark days for Stars, and Campbell said giving up was in the back of his mind. “We lived in a permanent state of doom through most of our careers,” he said, “but on some very fundamental level we knew it would happen because we kept on doing it. There for sure were a lot of times when we asked ourselves why we were doing what we were doing. Sometimes you ask yourself if it’s worth it, but the essence of it is if you can make music and find people who connect to it, it’s incredibly rare and satisfying.”
The other part of the interview that didn’t make it into the story involves a recent review in Pitchfork and how Campbell responded. That’s the topic of tomorrow’s column: Is there really such thing as a bad review these days?
And speaking of bad reviews, Aversion posted their review of the Capgun Coup debut and it is hands-down the most negative review of an Omaha release that I’ve read in years (if not ever). Among the bombs dropped in critic Nick Loughery’s one-star review: “Capgun Coup isn’t just unbearable, it’s obnoxious. It’s the worst of the DIY underground — the egotistic notion that your music doesn’t have to conform to anyone’s standards of listenability, structure or purpose. It’s individualistic past the point of no return, an exercise in ego over artistic aesthetics. It’s a train wreck from beginning to end.” Yeah, but but did you like it, Nick? Read the entire review here. Despite Aversion’s comments, live reviews for Capgun opening for Bright Eyes on his past tour have been glowing, some comparing the band to Desaparecidos — quite a compliment.
For once, there are actually some solid shows happening on Halloween night. Too bad I’ll be skipping all of them because I f**king hate all the costume bullsh*t. The best show of the bunch is at The Waiting Room: Bad Luck Charm, Brimstone Howl, The Bombardment Society and the new, improved Virgasound — all for just $7. This is such a good line-up that I might pick through my old clothes and create my own hobo costume (always a favorite in my trick-or-treat days). Meanwhile, just down the street at Mick’s, Kyle Harvey, Matt Whipkey, Sarah Benck and Korey Anderson will be playing a free show. Both shows start at 9. Happy Halloween.
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