Waxing on Gonzo
The second annual Gonzo Fest (see page 37 for more) will include musical performances from some great locals as well as some notable touring bands, including The Whigs, Fresh Millions and David Wax Museum. The latter, a Boston-based group receiving acclaim for their third album, Everything Is Saved, answered a few questions.
LEO: Are you a Hunter Thompson fan?
Greg Glassman: We’re very curious and excited about being a part of Gonzo Fest. We appreciate anyone who has a distinct, original and humorous take on the follies of mankind, and Hunter S. Thompson surely embodied this.
LEO: You’re Americana, folk, Mexican-American, indie rock … who are you, anyway? Is Calexico threatened by you?
GG: I believe the most common press label being applied these days is “Mexo-Americana,” and that’s fine with us. Like most musicians, we have too many influences to name, but given the instrumentation, chord and rhythm structures, and harmony vocals, “Mexo-Americana” distills us down to a style that someone new to our music can relate to. We are all big fans of Calexico, and they are near the top of the list for bands we would love to tour with. We met some of them at the Green River Festival a few summers ago and enjoyed showing them the son jarocho instruments we play.
LEO: You made the NPR Listeners’ Poll list of the best music of 2011 so far. Who’s on your version of that list?
GG: In no particular order, we’ve been spinning new records from these bands lately: Yellowbirds, In One Wind, tUnE-yArDs, Gillian Welch, Cuddle Magic, Jessica Lea Mayfield.
LEO: You have some birds on your merchandising. Have you heard the phrase “Put a bird on it” yet?
GG: (laughs) Honestly, no, we hadn’t heard that, but that makes sense. Who doesn’t like birds? Our connection with birds comes from a traditional son jarocho song we play called “El Pajaro Carpintero,” or “Carpenter Bird.” A friend of the band is an amazing woodblock print artist and has hand-carved many images for us, including the cover of our first album.
LEO: Why should the good, hard-working people of Louisville be excited about you? (Don’t feel obligated to mention My Morning Jacket or bourbon.)
GG: Well, we’re good, hard-working people, too, so we’ll have that in common to start. We’ve never played Louisville before, so we’d love to show your town a good time, and vice-versa. If nothing else, come see Suz beat the hell out of a donkey jawbone.
David Wax Museum plays Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Monkey Wrench. For more info, go to www.davidwaxmuseum.com.
ear X-tacy Top Sales
Wilco — The Whole Love
Feist — Metals
Various Artists — The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams
The Jayhawks — Mockingbird Time
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy — Wolfroy Goes to Town
Indigo Girls — Beauty Queen Sister
The Tedeschi Trucks Band — Revelator
Mastodon — The Hunter
Jack’s Mannequin — People and Things
Jay-Z & Kanye West — Watch the Throne