September looks to be a big musical month for Pittsburgh. Or should I say, bigger than usual because there's always stuff going on here. Next weekend, the Harlan Twins release their second album on Friday and the following night veteran alto sax player Sonny Simmons is in town. The weekend after that, Guided by Voice are coming to town, and I think Paul Labrise is releasing his new album the night before. Wye Oak is returning to town that Thursday (the 13th I think). Then, the week after that, Sao Paulo Underground is coming to the Warhol, followed the next night by Roy Haynes' show. Then the week after THAT, the Love Letters are opening for Chain and the Gang, the band that includes Ian Svenonious. Laetitia Sadier (formerly of Stereolab) is also in town, I think the night before. Two nights later, the Pittsburgh Record Convention is happening and I'm going to be selling stuff there.
It all kind of makes my head hurt.
This past Monday, I had back-to-back phone interviews with Laetitia Sadier and Sonny Simmons, both conducted while Donovan was sequestered up in the office watching a DVD of The Electric Company. Laetitia was in England and as much as I would've preferred not making an overseas call, I was excited to talk to her. City Paper is going to run a quick Q&A with her, but I think Blurt wants something too. So I might actually break even with the cost of the call.
We started off the conversation talking about Pittsburgh, which she actually remembered from a Stereolab show close to 10 years ago. She remembered the layout of the late Club Laga, which is pretty impressive considering how she's probably travelled the world several times over. We also talked briefly about the film Diabolique, the remake of which was filmed here at my old church. I was supposed to have 25 minutes with her but we actually went over because she never said anything and the conversation was going to well that I was going to take my chances.
Sonny Simmons' manager warned me that he "isn't very good on the phone, so I'll be on other line," which made me wonder if I was going to get another one of those interviews where the answer to every question was "man, I just want to play." On the contrary, Sonny was pretty animated and chatty, and willing to answer all of my questions. I really really really hope that a lot of people come out of the woodwork for his show here. I just found out that he's here the same night that the Mattress Factory is doing their annual jazz and poetry show with Oliver Lake on the North Side.
On this day a year ago, and two years prior to that, I was getting ready to catch a plane to Detroit for their Jazz Festival. Naturally I'd love to go this year, representing JazzTimes again but I decided that I wanted to be home Labor Day weekend this year, so I didn't volunteer myself this year. Oh well, maybe next year. It's a shame because this year, I actually have business cards made up with this blog's email address on it. Almost professional.
And Awaaaaay We Go!
11 months ago