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Interview with Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo

Tuesday, September 24: 7 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Yo La Tengo visit the Rolling Stones exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

With more than a dozen albums and nearly 30 years under their collective belt, Yo La Tengo – Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew – have enjoyed success entirely on their own terms. They've played everywhere, from the world’s best-known concert halls and museums to dives and clubs, dominating critics’ lists, doing a "Simpsons" theme, playing the Velvet Underground in I Shot Andy Warhol, sharing stages with some of the most important musicians of our time, and even creating a holiday tradition onto themselves with their yearly series of Hanukkah shows at Hoboken, New Jersey’s legendary club Maxwells, from which they’ve donated hundreds of thousands to charity.

In 2013, Yo La Tengo released Fade, featuring 10 songs recorded at Chicago's Soma studios with producer John McEntire. The resulting collection of songs features that band's signature layered arrangements, flush with controlled guitar noise and strings; alongside gentle, whispered pop flights.

Kaplan, Hubley and McNew recently visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as the Rock Hall's Library and Archives. While here, the Rock Hall caught up with Kaplan, who shares thoughts on his first records, favorite Yo ...


continue Categories: Celebrity Sighting, Inductee, Library and Archives, Exclusive Interviews

Interview with Silversun Pickups' Brian Aubert on Tour Stop in Cleveland

Thursday, August 8: 5:41 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Silversun Pickups visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum during tour stop in Cleveland.

Silversun Pickups – guitarist and vocalist Brian Aubert, bassist Nikki Monninger, drummer Christopher Guanlao and keyboardist Joe Lester – emerged on the LA music scene in the early 2000s alongside their 2005 debut, Pikul. The group's following grew dramatically in 2006 with the release of Carnavas, featuring the breakthrough single "Lazy Eye." That album and subsequent releases, including 2009's Swoon and 2012's Neck of the Woods, have showcased the band's gift for electrifying soundscapes, textured arrangements and male-female vocal harmonies. 

The Grammy-nominated quartet visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum on August 8, 2013, touring the Museum before a gig at Cleveland's famous Agora Theater. Silversun Pickups singer/guitarist Brian Aubert sat down for an interview with the Rock Hall.

Rock Hall: What was the first record/CD you ever bought and do you still listen to it?

Brian Aubert: The first album I remember buying was Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual. I was really little, and I was on a family trip to Anchorage, Alaska. I found it in a mall and the purchase made me feel like an adult. Yes, I do listen to it here and there.

RH: What ...


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Summer in the City: Interview with Sharon Van Etten

Tuesday, August 21: 9:33 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Sharon Van Etten performs live at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio

With her 2009 debut album, Because I Was in Love, New Jersey–native Sharon Van Etten captured the attention of audiences, critics and musicians, who were drawn to her intimate musical portraits etched with introspective lyrics and varied arrangements. Since Van Etten's acclaimed 2010 release Epic, she's played the Pitchfork Music Festival, performed at the Hollywood Bowl with Neko Case, appeared live on the BBC and was recently named a "must-see act" by Rolling Stone. Her latest album, 2012's Tramp, was recorded during a 14-month period of scattered sessions, where the only constant was the garage studio and input of producer Aaron Dessner of the National. Here, the Rock Hall catches up with the singer/songwriter, who shares insights about life on the road, why she loves playing in New York City and what people can expect of her live performances. Sharon Van Etten will headline a free concert at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 22, 2012, part of the Summer in the City concert series. 

Rock Hall: How would you describe your music to somebody who has never heard it before?

Sharon Van Etten: My style ...


continue Categories: Summer in the City, Exclusive Interviews

Highlights From Lollapalooza 2012

Wednesday, August 8: 4:19 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Gary Clark Jr at Lollapalooza 2012

Ever since Perry Farrell moved his Lollapalooza festival to Chicago, I have managed to attend it every year. In fact, it’s become something of an annual ritual for my older son, Arthur, and me. Like me, Arthur is consumed by music. I have been taking him to concerts since he was a young boy, and I took him to see many established artists, including U2 and Bruce Springsteen. Then as he got more into music, he introduced me to younger up-and-coming artists, and we would go to local clubs together. Arthur now has his own electronic dance music group called Busted Bass, and they have been playing clubs around Cleveland. 

Unlike a lot of other festivals, Lollapalooza features a wide mix of music. This year’s lineup included everyone from 2006 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Black Sabbath to Ohio’s hugely popular Black Keys, from such hot electronic dance music artists as Bassnector and Kaskade to the hot British soul singer Michael Kiwanuka, from the folksy young band Dawes to the soulful young band Alabama Shakes.

One of my favorite artists at this year’s festival was the singer-guitarist Gary Clark Jr. The Austin, Texas ...


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Summer in the City: Interview with Mr. Gnome

Tuesday, July 31: 11 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Cleveland's Mr. Gnome will perform live at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Inspired by a taste for the surreal, Cleveland’s Mr. Gnome has been creating a singular amalgam of gritty, space-psychedelia since 2005, gaining them an ever-growing cult following across North America and Europe, as well as praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, Paste, Spin, Bust and more. Singer/guitarist Nicole Barille and drummer/pianist Sam Meister bring an unfiltered approach to their craft, allowing for emotional and sonic variance. With a nod to the off-kiltered, the constantly touring duo are supporting their third full-length album, Madness In Miniature, which was recorded at Josh Homme’s (Queens of the Stone Age/Them Crooked Vultures) Pink Duck Studios in Los Angeles. While the previous two albums offered mere glimpses, the new album is an all-encompassing gaze into two delicate yet roaring, hypnotic and beautifully disconcerting minds that come together to make sense as one. Here, the Rock Hall catches up with Barille and Meister, in advance of their live free concert at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 1, 2012, as part of the Summer in the City concert series

Rock Hall: What was the first record/CD you ever bought and ...


continue Categories: Summer in the City

Summer in the City: Interview with Torche's Andrew Elstner

Wednesday, July 18: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Torche / Photo by Gary Copeland

Formed in Miami, Florida, Torche has rocked fans, critics and stereos since their forming in 2004. Variously characterized as “stoner pop,” “thunder rock” and “sludge metal,” their self-titled album was declared as the Number Seven album of 2005 on Decibel magazine’s annual Top 40 list. Three years later, Decibel magazine ranked the band’s second album, Meanderthal, as Number One. Torche's latest album, Harmonicraft, was released in April 2012. The band has toured with Mogwai, Isis, Baroness and the Sword, among others, and in 2010, they opened for Coheed and Cambria. Here the Rock Hall catches up with Torche guitarist Andrew Elstner, as the band readies for a free live concert at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 25, 2012, part of the Summer in the City concert series.

Rock Hall: What was the first record/CD you ever bought and do you still listen to it?

Andrew Elstner: With my own money? Aerosmith Rocks and damn straight I still listen to it. Although now it's on my iPod, not a cassette tape. 

RH: What artists did you listen to when you were growing up and what about ...


continue Categories: Summer in the City

Summer in the City: Interview with Cloud Nothings' Dylan Baldi

Tuesday, July 3: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Cloud Nothings perform live at the Rock Hall on July 11, 2012 / photo by Noah Kalina

Cloud Nothings have gone from making lo-fi indie rock in a parent’s basement in 2009 to releasing an EP, a handful of singles, a compilation album and two studio albums of new material, as well as touring North America and Europe, where their live performances showcase songs full of energy and precision. In 2010, the band recorded in Baltimore’s famed Copycat Building (home to the original Wham City and many of the city’s best musicians). The resulting self-titled album released in 2011 featured group founder Dylan Baldi playing all of the instruments. The band released the critically acclaimed Attack on Memory, which was engineered by Steve Albini, in early 2012 and performed at SXSW in March. Cloud Nothings have been featured in Rolling Stone, Spin and the New York Times.

Here, the Rock Hall catches up with Cloud Nothings founder Dylan Baldi in an exclusive interview. Cloud Nothings headline the first Summer in the City concert at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 11. RSVP for this free concert here and use #summer2rock to connect with the Rock Hall on Twitter.

Rock Hall: What was the first record ...


continue Categories: Summer in the City, Event

Rock Hall Sessions: Interview with Bethesda

Friday, February 17: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Members of the band Bethesda interviewed at the Rock Hall

Although Bethesda is an Ohio-bred band whose homespun tales and sounds are grounded in the folk tradition, the members' ecletic musical backgrounds, creative energy and flair for the dramatic ensure that they're never beholden to the trappings of one particular style. Instead, the group's core of musicians – violinist Christopher Black, bassist Dan Corby, vocalist Shanna Delaney, guitarist/vocalist Eric Ling, drummer Justin Rife and guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Jesse Sloan – have cultivated a refreshingly vibrant sound that has made them a band to watch. Their music has been slated to appear in programming on Showtime, MTV, Oxygen, VH1 and E!; they've shared the stage with such noted indie acts as Azure Ray and fellow Ohio native, Jessica Lea Mayfield, and exposure on more than 200 independent and college radio stations nationwide has given them serious buzz. 

Delaney hails from Circleville, Ohio, while Ling grew up in nearby Bellefontaine. Sloan originally came from Florida, Rife from Tallmadge, Ohio, Corby from Chardon, Ohio, and Black was most recently living in Connecticut. The members brought divergent tastes, with Rife coming from a background playing in punk bands and Delaney having found her voice in musical theater. Ling was a student ...


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