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Concert Fri Nov 28 2008

Clouds: Coming to Chicago, they just keep on puttin out. . .

CloudsOnTheWall.jpg

Clouds had been on tour for a good while before being invited to join back up with Boris for a jaunt through the Midwest and on back east. They hit Chicago on Saturday, November 29th, rolling into the Empty Bottle just in time to cure everyone of their excessive exposure to turkey and family. Based out of Boston, for all that they haven't seen that east coast city for a while, Jim Carroll chatted of the cities they've seen and the bands they've seen those cities with.

This past March Clouds hit SXSW promoting the release of their album "We Are Above You" on Hydra Head Records. As always, the four day music fest an onslaught of music from around the worlds, as well as a showcase of fans' willingness to flock to Texas to see their favorite, or soon to be favorite bands. SXSW may swell the population of Austin by about ten times, but according to Jim, the vibe is really the same that weekend as on any given Monday night.

Clouds scored a show at Red 7 last year, home to many a metal set. But really, when the festival is in town, any bar that can lay hands on a sound system turns into a venue.

Jim has also been in Austin when the city isn't in the grips of a music fest. "Austin is kind of always like that, just not in that grand a scale," said Jim over the phone while the band pulled themselves together for another day on the road. "It's one of the only places in the middle of America where you can play a show on a Monday and it will be raging."

Boston, MA on the other hand, their home [and mine back in the day] has a slightly different vibe. With so many colleges swelling the population the face of the city effectively gets "recycled" as Jim puts it, every four years. There are other processes afoot too. "Boston has totally been gentrified to the max," says James. "There will always be places to play, people will always be starting small size music venues, there will be something. But it can pose a problem when one place shuts down."

Certainly that kind of flash-in-the-pan venue can be a problem for bands touring though, not knowing if they'll get to play somewhere they know and that knows them. But even worse for bands coming home from a tour to find their favorite digs turned into Urban Outfitters or a new CitiBank. As Jim said "It's a very youth based city. It's hard to start a community." He's watched a lot of folks hit 21, get done with college, and move out.

So community then. For a band on the road community ends up being the folks they're touring with. Clouds has been out with their label mates Torche for the summer and again in the fall. Now though they've been invited to join Boris for a bit. Boris just finished touring with Nine Inch Nails and will continue on through the Midwest before winding through Buffalo, NY and on to the East Coast.

Jim was excited to be touring with Boris again. They'd been with them around SXSW but were excited to get a second round on the road. "There is the language barrier," says Jim. Only one of the members of Boris speaks much English. "But we can all get along. It takes a lot more time to explain things but we can still all have a good time." Some comment could be made toward the universal language of music, but I'm not sure that was really what he was talking about.

While out on the road Clouds have crashed with friends and fans. They've partied, as can be seen in the heartwarming video celebrating Hydrahead label guy Mark Thompson's birthday. Clouds are also out to keep their fans, their community happy. Jim promised they'll "Keep putting out."

When they were home in October, Clouds holed up and recorded a few songs that they'll be pressing available in vinyl only. The songs will also go up online, but don't go looking for CDs. Realizing that the collectors out there are really the vinyl folks, Clouds will be catering to them. So each time they're home, or even if they manage to set aside some time on a tour, Clouds will be recording a song or three. These will then get pressed as limited edition vinyl, only a thousand or so each time.

So keep your eyes out. And your ears open. Though for the show this Saturday, beware. Between the punk rock/metal of Clouds and the drone metal of Boris, you may be bleeding even if you don't join in the pit. Bring some ear plugs, eh folks?
Saturday, November 29th
The Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave.
Boris, Clouds, and Poison Arrows
Doors at 10pm Tickets $15

 
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By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

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