I sat down with John Gourley, lead singer and guitarist of Portugal. The Man, after their Live in the Lab performance in the Boston Globe Media Lab. While the rest of the band took over the studio, Gourley answered some questions.
The Wasilla, Alaska natives are now based out of Portland, but they're in town this week to play Boston's first ticketed rock festival, Boston Calling. Check them out on City Hall Plaza, and watch the video of their performance, below.
What is the story of your first-ever concert?
My first concert was Pantera. I grew up in Alaska and was painfully, painfully shy. I mean, it was getting thrown into a mosh pit of angry, huge, Alaskans. That’s what it was – it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. I was 14 at the time. It was the craziest experience of my life; it completely changed my view of music. I didn’t know metal existed. I went to the show because… there was a show. In Alaska. And I was finally old enough to go by myself. It opened up the world of metal to me. And that was all we listened to after, just heavy, heavy music.
Who is your favorite emerging artist?
I love Unknown Mortal Orchestra, who are from New Zealand, living in Portland. (Another transplant.) They’re just amazing.
What is the oddest thing in your bag right now?
In my bag? A second bag. I have a bag within a bag. There’s nothing in it. I just have a bag in my bag. That’s the first thing that comes to mind. Also broken hard drives.
Describe the worst picture ever taken of you.
There are so many. I’m gonna give you the best-worst just because my girlfriend always goes back and looks at these photos, just to laugh about it. Right after we recorded “Satanic Satanist,” and "American Ghetto" here in Boston, we decided we’d grow our hair out. This is was like the Beatles thing. I wanted to see these pictures later in life. I want to see that stupid, stupid picture. So I grew my hair out and continued cutting my bangs. It was something I had always done, and we have photos that are just so over-the-top. I’m wearing a Portland Trailblazers tanktop, sunglasses, and this bushy hair, and it’s pretty funny.
What is the weirdest question you’ve ever gotten about being from Alaska?
We get asked ‘Who else famous is from Wasilla, Alaska?’ quite a bit. And I always say, Portugal. The Man! They’re from there. But when all that stuff happened [with Sarah Palin]... nobody’s supposed to know that shit. Nobody is supposed to know that John McCain had picked her, but the night before it was announced, Zach [Carothers, Portugal. The Man’s bassist] and I are getting text messages because Wasilla is such a small place. Stuff like that spreads so quickly. And the text messages said “Sarah Palin…” and Zach and I are like, “There’s no way.”
I mean, we always get, “Can you see Russia from your house?” We get that all the time. But I’ll tell you the weirdest question: Growing up, coming down to visit New York, we had some of my grandparents’ friends, some old people, asking if we had TV, and if we really lived in igloos. Like, they were serious questions. And you’re sitting in front of them wearing somewhat normal clothes… I mean, I’m wearing pants and a shirt. Where do you think I got this? The igloo down the street?
What is the stereotype about Portland that is most true?
If you watch “Portlandia,” you get all of them. They’re all so spot-on. That’s why it’s funny. Those people exist in every city, you see them, you know it. Portland just has a ton of them. They all live there. I mean, we have Wieden+Kennedy and Nike, and pretty much everywhere you’d work in Portland requires not being at work. There are kegs in the office… It’s the silliest thing I’ve ever seen. “Do I want a beer? No… We’re sitting down to talk about business. What do you mean, ‘have a beer?’” I’m pretty sure all the stereotypes are true. I think there are really great movements happening in Portland. It’s nice being in a place that supports itself and stands on its own.
Here we are, on summer's doorstep: the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. And while the weather forecast is...well, Henry Santoro pretty much summed it up:
We're not letting the rain get us down! We're talking summer cocktails with our friend Steve Gordon, Region Manager for MA and RI at Pernod Ricard USA. Listen:
Today Bob Dylan turns 72. Slate's birthday present to Robert Zimmerman? An interactive map showing every place in the world that Bob Dylan mentioned in song. For instance, there are more than 20 songs that mention New York, a dozen or so in California, three in New Orleans.
And what of Cambridge, where the young Dylan was a frequent performer?
According to Slate's map: nothing. Nada.
As for that Cambridge suburb across the river Charles? Dylan mentioned Boston just once. And that wasn't until 1997's Time Out Of Mind, in the 16-minute epic "Highlands." What does he have to say of this place, so central to his beginnings?
"I'm in Boston town, in some restaurant I got no idea what I want"
You can tell Boston left a big impression on the greatest songwriter of his generation. Which restaurant? He can't remember. With whom? Won't say. When? You got me. What's he gonna eat? No idea. Here, check it out:
Meanwhile, on Twitter, my former colleague David Bernstein is polling Boston's mayoral candidates for their favorite Bob Dylan song. Here's what he's got so far:
@dbernstein For Dylan, Like a Rolling Stone.— Rob Consalvo (@RobConsalvo) May 24, 2013
Save the date: Friday, June 7th. That's when Alex Brown Church and his band Sea Wolf will perform at Brighton Music Hall. Before their set that night, they'll perform Live in the Lab. And it'll likely look and sound something like this.
Check out our Get Stuff page for a chance to sit in on Sea Wolf, Live in the Lab.
This came in via our Facebook page last night. Thank you, Keith, for sharing. And thanks to all for reading. Share the info, click the links, and send some love to those in need in Oklahoma.
There are a couple of us New England ex-pats (Maine, NH, Mass.) living in OKC. None of us were injured or lost property in the severe weather & tornados of the last few days, but a couple of us have coworkers that lost their homes. I feel as numb as I did after the Boston Marathon bombing.
(The photo is of a friend wearing her "Boston Strong" t-shirt while collecting donations for the storm victims).
In our 3 years out here, we’ve had 2 EF-5s in the metro (the first of which was aiming down our road before veering north).
Anyway, thanks for being Boston’s most trusted newsman (I’m not being facetious here, despite my reputation).
Here are some donating options:
Oklahoma Regional Food Bank
(or you can text FOOD to 32333 to give $10)
Central Oklahoma Humane Society (They're helping take care of all the displaced and lost pets and also helping families feed their pets they've been reunited with.)
Recovers helps towns organize disaster recovery with mobile and web-based technology.
There’s also this Facebook site with a whole collection of relief efforts and information.
Jekyll and Hyde no more, the Bruins have played a fiery and consistent brand of hockey through the first three games of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and they're now a game away from sweeping their series with the New York Rangers.
Listen to Kevin Paul Dupont and Adam 12 discuss the series so far and the possibility of a sweep.
Tune in next Wednesday at 2 for a recap of the inevitable Tortorella temper tantrum.
Henry Santoro and Julie Kramer welcomed freelance author Jessica Wapner to discuss her new book 'The Philadelphia Chromosome: A Mutant Gene and the Quest to Cure Cancer at the Genetic Level.'
Wonderful to have our friends from All Seasons Table in Malden back for Henry in the Grub this morning. Although, when you listen to the segment, you'll notice it was actually Adam 12 in the Grub.
Yes, Henry played host this morning. But it was Adam 12 who dined on the amazing Pan-Asian cuisine of All Season's Table. Below is a sampling of what he sampled. Be sure to pay them a visit.
First of all, let's not bury the lede, here: Holy cow, we've got a video of a robot octopus. Science, we love you.
We will also try not to think too hard about why scientists are spending a bunch of time perfecting a robot octopus. I'm sure, theoretically, someone could concoct a legit reason to build a robot octopus -- a reason, say, that has nothing to do with unleashing an army of robot octopi to kill us all. But we all understand the implication of having robot octopi laying around: if there's a robot octopus on the shelf in the first act, someone's going to get robot-octopus-strangled before the end of the third.
In any case, the scientists building the robot octopus have, necessarily, begun to investigate all of the ways to use eight robot arms to propel a thing through the water. It turns out that the way real octopi do it -- flailing all eight arms simultaneously, in a stroke known as "sculling" -- isn't necessarily the best way: "According to recent experiments, some of the artificial gaits produce much smoother movements, which may make more sense for octopus-inspired robots," reports the journal of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Right. So if you're wondering why actual octopi armies haven't already taken over the planet: maybe it's because they're too lazy to figure out how to use all eight arms efficiently? Let's just hope that the report, "Octopus-inspired Eight-arm Robotic Swimming by Sculling Movements," doesn't make it into octopus hands anytime soon.
As for that robot octopus army that'll be coming for your children: don't think too hard about it. And whatever you do, don't watch this other video -- of a robot octopus crawling across a swimming pool -- right before you go to bed:
Kidding, of course. With one quarter of the 2013 MLB season over and done with, Adam 12, Steve Silva, and Chad Finn look back, play a little "3 up, 3 down," and preview the series--and season--to come.
So into Chicago they go, then home to host the Tribe. Tune in next Monday at 2 for a recap. And a celebration of all things Drew.
Adam 12 puts it like this: the American Craft Beer Fest is like Christmas for beer lovers. It's the largest celebration of American craft beer on the east coast, with over 640 craft beers from more than 140 American brewers to sample.
And sample we will.
And sample we did! Jason Alström stopped by to chat with Adam 12 and pour out a few brews. Listen:
Join us at the Seaport World Trade Center for Session A on Friday, May 31st. Adam 12 will be broadcasting live that afternoon leading up to doors opening at 6. Click here for tickets and event details.
Make sure you're following Beer Advocate on Twitter, too. See you at the ACBF!
There has been another cycling casualty on the streets of Boston. Yesterday afternoon, an MIT visiting scientist was struck and killed in a hit and run while riding her bike at the intersection of Charlesgate West and Beacon Street.
The victim was identified as Japanese 36-year-old Kanako Miura, and was pronounced dead at the scene. MIT released a statement that said Miura had been working at the computer science and artificial intelligence laboratories.
Boston Globe deputy editor Mike Bello spoke with Henry Santoro and Julie Kramer this morning about this sad news, adding that although a driver had been identified, there have been no charges filed. The driver is cooperating with investigators, according to Bello.
Listen to the whole segment here.
Remember, kids: it's not "PORTUGALTHEMAN!" It's "Portugal *pause* The Man."
Now that you know how to say their name correctly, why not see them perform live? They're bringing their talents from the great northwest to the Globe Media Lab on Friday, May 24th before a weekend performance at the Boston Calling music festival.
The German duo Boy treated us to a wonderful Friday afternoon performance live in the RadioBDC studio. We'll have video here shortly.
In the meantime, here's audio of the performance you just watched.
Reason One: I'm an idiot.
More specifically, when Kvelertak were right here in Boston playing the best show ever -- at Royale last November, with Converge, while Converge's Kurt Ballou was recording Kvelertak's new masterpiece out at his legendary God City Studio -- I decided to show up an hour late. Missed Kvelertak completely. This is a band who live about ten thousand miles away and put out my favorite rock record of 2010. And I missed it. Man, I can't wait for May 20.
Kvelertak live in Boston, 2012
Reason Two: The mere possibility that frontman Erlend Hjelvik will wear an eagle on his head
Y'know, like he does in this video. Also, holy crap this video. Generally I'm against bands who write songs that are also the name of the band (with one notable exception). But when your band name translates to "chokehold," you get a pass.
Reason Three: It's been 15 years since Turbonegro's Apocalypse Dudes.
How did that happen? How was that 15 years ago? How has there not been a goofball deathpunk album of such fun and ferocity since then? As far as I can tell Kvelertak are basically writing Turbonegro songs with some black metal thrown in -- which is pretty much the metal equivalent of that time some guy took a chocolate-chip cookie and said, "You know what would make this better? M&Ms." He was right. They were right. This is awesome. Oh, here's the inspiration for "Kvelertak" (the song), only 15 years ago and sung in bad English.
Reason Four: I can't move to Scandinavia. We can't move to Norway. We actually probably wouldn't want to move to Norway. Or Sweden, either. But jeez, they just don't make these bands anywhere else. Now I'm just going to sit around all weekend listening to the Hellacopters and Gluecifer records. You see what they've done to me?
Reason Five: Since Meir was recorded in Salem, it's basically a Boston rock record, right?
I hereby nominate this album for a Boston Music Award. No, really, I can prove it: here's 20 minutes of Kvelertak hanging around Massachusetts -- with subtitles! They go shopping at Shaw's! And you'll learn how to say "woof" in Norwegian.
Week's ago, Adam 12 invited Tim Brennan up to the studio for a chat...then forgot to follow up. Luckily, Tim reached out to his old friend 12 a few days ago, so here they are, chatting about the recent Dropkick Murphys concert benefiting The One Fund Boston, the new Rose Tattoo ep release which benefits the same, and everything else under the sun. Listen:
Listen to Adam 12 weekdays at 2 on RadioBDC.
CBS reported this morning that investigators found a note in the boat that bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev was hiding in before he was found by police in Watertown.
Boston Globe deputy metro editor Mike Bello reported on RadioBDC's morning show that the note claimed the Boston Marathon bombings were retribution for US military action in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tsarnaev also allegedly called victims of the April 15 attacks "collateral damage," comparing them to innocent Muslims who have been collateral damage of US wars, saying, "when you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims."
The younger Tsarnaev called his brother a martyr in the note, which was written on a cabin wall of the boat, according to the CBS report. He also said that he did not mourn his brother and expected to see him in heaven.
Bello discussed this bizarre turn in the case, and how this evidence might be used against Dzokhar Tsarnaev during his upcoming trial.
Listen to the rest of this morning's segment here.
Sure, she was born on Long Island and now lives in L.A., but we'll always think of Wendy Liebman as a Boston comedienne. The Wellesley grad first took the stage here in Boston, and she's back tonight at the Somerville Theatre for 'Share a Laugh with Wendy Liebman and Friends,' a benefit for Community Works. Here her talk about it with Henry Santoro and Julie Kramer.
Ticket alert: Boston concerts by Backstreet Boys, Baroness, Black Crowes, and former members of Black Flag
[ONE FUND BEFNEFIT] YEASAYER + BODEGA GIRLS + DUCKTAILS + CAMDEN: May 22 at the Sinclair; on sale Thursday May 16, noon
[ONE FUND BENEFIT] CURREN$Y + THE PERCEPTIONISTS + STATIC SELEKTAH WITH SEAN PRICE & TERMANOLOGY + MOE POPE & RAIN + GREY SKY APPEAL: May 24 at the Sinclair; on sale Thursday May 16 at noon
BARONESS + ROYAL THUNDER: August 11 at Royale; on sale Friday May 17, 10 am
BACKSTREET BOYS: Aug 12 at Bank of America Pavilion; on sale Friday May 17, 10am
BLACK CROWES, TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND: Aug 6 at Bank of America Pavilion; on sale Fri May 17, 10am
THE CULT: Aug 23 at House of Blues; on sale Fri May 17, 10am
GIRLS ROCK CAMP BOSTON SHOWCASE: Jul 27 and Aug 17 at Brighton Music Hall;
on sale Fri May 17, noon.
PINBACK + DEATHFIX: September 10 at the Sinclair; on sale Friday May 17, noon
FIDLAR + THE ORWELLS: October 23 at the Sinclair; on sale Friday May 17, noon
FLAG (featuring former members of Black Flag): Sep 20 at Paradise Rock Club; on sale Fri May 17, noon
SUPERCHUNK: Sep 26 at Paradise Rock Club; on sale Fri May 17, noon
After allegedly trespassing at the Quabbin Reservoir late last night, seven college-aged individuals of varied nationalities have been detained by police.
Boston Globe deputy metro editor Mike Bello reported this morning that among the people detained are a Pakistani national and a Saudi Arabian claiming to be chemical engineers attending schools in the area.
The FBI is investigating the incident, and officials insist that the water in the reservoir, which serves greater Boston, was not contaminated by any substance.
Listen to this morning's segment for more on this developing story.
Close to 48 hours later, and it still doesn't seem quite real. The Bruins stunned the Toronto Maple Leafs, Leafs fans, BRUINS fans, and most of the world with their down-by-three-goals-in-the-third comeback and OT win on Monday night. Kevin Paul Dupont shared his firsthand account and joined Adam 12 and Paul Driscoll in making NHL semifinal predictions.
KPD, A12, and PD (sometimes) talk hockey every Wednesday at 2. Make a note of it. And watch this again.
Sleep when you're dead. The weather is getting warmer, summer is coming, and there's drinking to be done. So for this week's edition of Henry in the Grub, Jamie dropped a bit of his all-encompassing craft beer knowledge.
Jamie, to Henry & Julie on Twitter:
We love ya, Jamie! Cheers!
After their awesome Live in the Lab set on Tuesday, Youngblood Hawke stuck around the RadioBDC studio to eat sandwiches with us and answer some questions.
What was your first concert?
Sam Martin (lead vocals/guitar): Public Enemy. I was way too young.
Nik Hughes (drums): Mine was Crosby, Stills and Young. No Nash. It was the late ‘80s, I pretty young.
Alice Katz (vocals): My first concert was Beach Boys in Vegas, in the ‘80s. I was really young, a tiny little one, and it was so much fun.
Who is your favorite emerging artist?
Tasso Smith (guitar): We did some shows with The Mowgli's – really, really good guys, cool songs, and they’re coming up on the radio. It’s really fun to see them grow on the charts.
Alice: One of my favorites to watch right now is Oh Land, who has that song “White Nights,” and she’s so talented and she’s working on her new album right now. I can’t wait to see what she puts out.
Simon Katz (guitar/keyboards): I definitely think Alt-J is one of my favorite new emerging artists. Their record is so cool and so well done and so unique, and you can’t really get sick of it.
What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of Boston?
Taso: Oyster bar
If your tour van caught fire and you could save one thing, what would it be?
Alice: Our dog, Pablo. He’s a… we don’t know. He’s a mystery mix of the best kinds of dogs put into one.
(That's Pablo, right, with a Christmas bow. From Alice's Instagram.)
Describe the worst picture ever taken of you.
Tasso: For some reason, when I’m concentrating, I do a Michael Jordan-esque move with my mouth and I start doing some weird things. And I got a photo recently taken with an Elvis lip and and I’m wearing some stupid sunglasses… It’s not flattering. I hope it’s not on Facebook.
Who would you rather: Donald Trump or Rosie O’Donnell?
Unanimous: Rosie O’Donnell.
Hello, I'm Adam 12, and I love trains. I didn't always love trains. Or, to be more accurate, I didn't realize I loved trains...until my son was born. He, like many other young lads of his day, loves trains. And his love is enthusiastic and infectious. So we often find ourselves riding the T on a lazy Sunday afternoon, goofing on the Boston Anagram T Map, and goggling the rusted-out hopper cars on the siding at Sullivan Square. We've not reached railfanning status, but we do enjoy riding the train together. It's provided us with some great bonding opportunities and wonderful memories.
Last weekend, the Amtrak Downeaster was running a special $5 fare from Haverhill, MA to Brunswick, ME as part of National Train Day. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to take the kid for a ride. And I took lots of pictures.
I can't speak highly enough about traveling by rail, and the Downeaster especially. Amtrak runs clean, punctual service and their staff and volunteer Train Hosts are friendly and accommodating--especially to young travelers like my son.
Summer's coming...take a trip on the Downeaster! You'll probably see me and my son on the train!
Some Mondays at 2, Chad Finn and Steve Silva join Adam 12 in studio to talk all things Sox. Other Mondays at 2, Chad Finn joins Adam 12 in studio to talk all things Sox, and Steve Silva e-mails his takes from a bar at the Philly airport. Or maybe a restaurant. Point being, Sox are discussed and dissected. And with their 4-8 start to May, there's plenty to discuss and dissect.
Here's hoping they'll string some wins together between now and next week's segment. In the meantime, Shane and Clay say "hang loose."
About RadioBDC blogWelcome to the new RadioBDC Blog, featuring the latest from the crew in the evolution of the Boston.com radio station, music news and local concerts and events. More »
Not only is Adam 12 Boston.com Radio's Production Director, he also hosts afternoons. 12 is a longtime fixture on the Boston scene, and when he's not out and about in the city, he's trekking around New England with his kids.
Julie enters the building every day with a big smile and trough of freshly brewed coffee. Shes Boston.com Radios Music Director and mid-day hostess, and will deliver Lunch At Your Desk every day from noon to 1 PM.
Henrys always on the lookout for news. Hes Boston.com Radios News Director and Morning Presenter. Hes also a music and art collector, and is a world-class cook with over 5,000 cookbooks in his library.
Paul Driscoll is Boston.com Radios Program Director who has the best ears in the business. Paul gets dozens of phone calls and visits a day, from bands and record labels looking to get their music played. Some even leave an apple on is desk.
Steph Mangan hosts Grrl Power and LocalBDC. When she's not at the studio, she is constantly on the look out for up-and-coming local bands and attending shows at Boston's many venues. She is an avid enthusiast of burritos and denim jackets.