Posts Tagged punk

The Vacant Lots Talk Life Without Alan Vega

The Vacant Lots Talk Life Without Alan Vega

Don't shelve The Vacant Lots in a vintage store. The New York two piece's music might sound nostalgic, but their punk energy and musicianship is anything but stale. On their second LP Endless Night, the group channels the spirit of influences like Suicide (whose late frontman Alan Vega's unmistakeable vocals feature on closing track, "Suicide Note") while traveling into untapped sonic territory with custom effect pedals and distinct arrangements. Ahead of their improvisatory live show June 30 at Sunnyvale, Jared Artaud and Brian MacFadyen caught up with AdHoc to talk Alan Vega, sonic tradition, and staying punk in 2017.

AdHoc: You collaborated with Alan Vega of Suicide recently. How was it working with such an iconic musician?

JARED ARTAUD: There are few people you meet in this world that change your life forever. Alan was doubtlessly one of them for me. Here he was in his 70s working at his art every day. Writing, drawing, painting, singing, recording. He was an unstoppable force. It was infinitely inspiring working with him. No matter what medium he used, his filter and vision would shine through: for instance, you could see the force and violence and spontaneity in his drawings that reminded me of his singing and performance style. Just spending time together and talking about music and art will always be some of the most lasting and memorable experiences of my life. There was something egoless and selfless about Alan that I found refreshing. He remained true to his art until the very end.

I was actually one of the last people to see him before he died. I went over to his apartment in Manhattan to listen to Endless Night together since he was planning on writing lyrics and singing on "Suicide Note." He wouldn’t talk about himself unless you asked him to. He would always ask you how you were feeling and would always ask you about your life. His support and mentorship really was powerful. Seeing Alan’s process firsthand and experiencing the way he executed his art really was something else. I got to work with him and co-produce his final album IT, and it’s an incredible record. However, it’s a shame that someone has to die before they get some of the kind of recognition they rightly deserve. 

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MAMA: "25 Forever"


Like all things ‘90s, power-pop revival vibes have been popping up here and there recently, but you wouldn’t mistake Chicago shredders MAMA for a Sloan throwback act. On their fresh double 7’’ for rising label Automatic RecordsNight Shoot, the band’s loud and peppy way with their instruments and no-fucks-given attitude illustrate quite to the point how the genre’s gotten its name. Album highlight “25 Forever” recalls the wide-eyed youth angst of pretty much every single song Cheap Trick ever recorded, while musically reclining comfortably in the hardest, drunkest, and rawest corner of the garage. Imagine a Burger Records band paying a spirited tribute to The Dictators, and you won't be far off the mark.  

Night Shoot is out now on Automatic Records. MAMA is playing a bunch of dates in Chicago and Milwaukee in April; check out the details here