Lazy-i Interview: Matt Whipkey; The Pretenders and how Stir is shooting itself in the foot…

Category: Blog — @ 5:22 pm August 20, 2009

Just posted for your reading pleasure, an interview with singer/songwriter/haircut Matt Whipkey (read it here). Whipkey talks about his past projects and how they contributed to his new solo album, Instant Heart, which will be celebrated at a CD release show this Saturday night at The Waiting Room.

This is Whipkey’s most intimate and straight-forward recording, mainly because he played all the instruments himself and recorded it alone in his basement over the course of three weeks (presumably nursing a broken heart…or maybe not). He said he was going for a low-fi, homemade sound (It was recorded on a 4-track analog tape deck), but it sounds as good as a formal studio recording. There will be (and has been) comparisons to Springsteen’s Nebraska album. It’s obvious to anyone who knows Whipkey’s work that he’s an unabashed Springsteen fan, and it shows through on these tracks.

Anyway, read the interview, and then get your tickets to Saturday’s show. The evening includes an Anonymous American reunion, which is sure to confuse any of Whipkey’s newer fans, and a performance by At Land, Doug Kabourek’s new rock project. $7, 9 p.m.

* * *

Speaking of shows, tonight is the big Pretenders/Cat Power/ Juliette Lewis concert at Harrah’s Stir Cove. I saw the Pretenders open for The Who at the Qwest White Elephant Barn a few years ago. They put on a decent, if not boring, show. Here’s the review:

No one stood up during The Pretenders set even though Chrissie Hynde and her band probably sounded no different than they did during their ’80s heyday. Wearing a crazy top-hat, elbow gloves and leg warmers, the 55-year-old Hynde tore through a set of the usual oldies, songs whose names I don’t know because I was never much of a Pretenders fan. The only time the crowd got into it was during “My City Was Gone,” where a few folks did a modified bump-and-grind in their seats. Thankfully, it was hard to see with the lights out…

The Pretenders’ new album is rather dry; needless to say, fans will be hitting the port-a-jonny (or the dice tables?) when they roll out their “new stuff.” I would love to see Cat Power, but not in that setting. Juliette Lewis should be comically entertaining.

Here’s what I don’t get: Tickets are on sale right now for $51, and had been on sale before that for $45.50 — for those unfortunate enough to buy them early. I say that because last week Stir offered tickets online for $5. In fact, Stir has been known to give away tickets to shows that don’t sell well.

Knowing this, why would anyone buy advanced tickets to a Stir show? The answer: From now on, no one will, except for those completely out of the loop. Had I bought tickets for $45.50 and found out that they were selling them for $5 (or giving them away), I would feel ripped off.

Needless to say, I didn’t get in on the $5 tickets, and am now completely unwilling to spend more than $5 for this show…

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