Power Pop Descends Upon CSPS in the Form of Chicago Rocker Dick Prall

Well, it’s been a pretty great week for acts at CSPS! The Duncan Sheik show on Thursday night was pretty damn amazing, and I found a couple of acts I want to keep an eye on– that new Alpha Rev album coming out next year will be one that I’m looking forward to.

Tonight the big stage at CSPS will be graced by Dick Prall who used to live in Iowa, but now crafts his Brit Pop-influenced Midwestern Rock from the Windy City. He’s put out a solid run of pop rock masterpieces since his first release Somewhere About Here in 1998.

This year he is kicking off a new project that is a little different than his standard album releases. He is working with Pat Sansone of Wilco and The Autumn Defense to release a series of digital singles which will culminate in a full release with bonus material next year. In an e-mail exchange with Prall he said, “We’re trying a different methodology this time around to hopefully keep folks interested and engaged on a monthly basis – that’s the theory, anyway. All the songs are being done with Pat Sansone, who digs the idea, so I’m in good company.”

If the first single “Wanted Blue” is any indication, it will be one for the “Best of” list for 2013! Prall also said that they are considering vinyl for this release! Listen for yourself and download:

Dick is bringing a band with him tonight that he describes as “drums, bass, violin, & hollow-bodied guitar put together in a sort of laid-back Buddy Holly & the Crickets meets Elvis Costello backed by Spoon sort of way.” Sounds like my kind of lineup!

The show is at 8PM at CSPS, and tickets are $17 in advance and $21 at the door. The opener is Stolen Silver. Details at the LegionArts.org site.

Listen to Dick Prall’s acoustic session on Daytrotter.com (it’s a free trial if you don’t have a subscription)

Here are upcoming shows (from dickprall.com)

Codfish Hollow Presents… A Democratic Barnstormer featuring Pieta Brown and David Zollo 10/6/12

 

Anyone who knows Tiff Biehl knows that she is a Democratic Activist of the first order. You might not know it to see her roaming the barn making sure everything is in working order during the magical Daytrotter Barnstormer shows that have taken place at their wonderful live music barn venue called Codfish Hollow just outside Maquoketa, IA. These shows have included bands like Dawes (twice), The Walkmen, Local Natives, Delta Spirit, and many others, culminating in an amazing show with Counting Crows this year on the 4th of July.

But, before Tiff had car vanity license plates that said BARNSTRM, she had plates that said OBAMA.

She decided that she wanted to bring her skills pulling together these Barnstormer shows with her passion for the Liberal agenda of the Democratic Party. So, we get another Barnstormer show at Codfish Hollow– specifically to raise money for Iowa House representative Tom Schueller (District 58) and Former Governor Vilsack’s wife Christie Vilsack (running against US Congressman Steve King in District 4) Also to help register the youth vote and Stand with Women and the LGBT community. An amazing example of a grassroots approach to making change.

A lineup was quickly gathered that should prove to make this another in a series of historic shows. Heading the lineup is Eastern Iowa artist Pieta Brown, who is said to be pulling together a band specifically for this show, joining her on the bill is another Eastern Iowa legend David Zollo. Along side them will be six other bands: The Blackberry Bushes Stringband, Subatlantic, Barnstormer triple alumni Brooks Strause, Fire Sale, River Glen Trio, Nate Gordon & Jay VonBruchhaeuser.

In addition to this impressive lineup of bands will be craft vendors, the old farm house will be open as an art gallery, plus the regular features of Codfish Hollow shows like hayrides from the parking lot, fire rings, and lots of great food. Congressman Bruce Braley will be speaking at 7PM as well.

The event will start at 2PM on Saturday, October 6th at 2PM and will run until the music runs out. Tickets are $25 until Midnight Friday night and $35 the day of the show. Children under 14 get in free. You can get your tickets HERE, or Melodie Schueller (563-357-0080) or from Tiff , from Osterhaus Pharmacy in Maquoketa, or at the Democratic Headquarters on Main street in Maquoketa!

RSVP to the event at Facebook HERE.

New Hiss Golden Messenger Album “Lord I Love The Rain” Expands on Bonus EP – Out 10/28

I wasn’t expecting a new release from Hiss Golden Messenger so soon after the release of the brilliant Poor Moon. Though I guess it has already almost been a year since it’s limited vinyl release on Paradise of Bachelors, but in that year Poor Moon received a reissue of sorts in April as a CD on Thompkins Square giving it the distinction of being one of the few contemporary releases on the label.

For the pre-order campaign for Poor Moon, MC Taylor tried a kind of Indiegogo/Kickstarter approach by providing tiered bonuses, which included a digital download of a live recording, and a 6-track EP called Lord I Love The Rain that was made up of solo acoustic tracks from Bad Debt, and a “conceptual soundtrack” called He Wore Rings on Every Finger. It was a welcomed, if a bit uneven collection of songs serving as bonus content.

This week it was announced that Lord I Love The Rain would get an expanded and improved treatment to serve as a bridge to the “proper” follow up to Poor Moon titled Haw to come out March 2013 on Paradise of Bachelors. This release will be produced by the German label Jellyfant in a limited run of 600 with only 240 making their way to our shores. The LP is mixed by Scott Hirsch of HGM and mastered by Anthony Puglisi who has done an amazing job with a few of the last vinyl releases in the HGM catalog. The cover will be Folkways-style paste-on jackets designed by Brendan Greaves, with liner notes by folklorist, curator and guitarist Nathan Salsburg. Brendan also designed the LP jacket for Poor Moon.

In addition to remixing the songs from the EP for this release, it also gains some additional tracks, loses a track and gets re-sequenced into an album where one side is made up of the Bad Debt lo-fi recordings, and the second side is made up of full-band songs in a kind of Rust Never Sleepsfashion. The new songs are a couple of covers– “The Revenant” from Michael Hurley, and “Tell Everyone” by Ronnie Lane, plus an instrumental “War” on the full band side, and “Karen’s Blues,” “He Wrote The Book,” “Roll River Roll” on the solo acoustic side. On the changes made for this release Taylor said, “We weren’t satisfied with the original version [of the EP], especially “Bright Phoebus” which was just flat and dumb. So it’s really nice to get another crack at it. I think the whole collection hangs together nicely. It’s nice to have the physical divide of sides A and B to separate the lo-fi from the higher fidelity [songs.]” Having listened to the collection a few times, I completely agree. The collection goes from being a kind of odds-and-sods to a release that works as a whole.

Side A
Karen’s Blues
He Wrote the Book
Roll River Roll
Father Sky
Westering
Fox and His Friends

Side B
Born on a Crescent Moon
The Revenant (Michael Hurley)
War
You Never Know
Tell Everyone (Ronnie Lane)

To get in on this rare release, you can pre-order from Taylor and Hirsch’s label Heaven and Earth Magic for $20 plus shipping, which is a pretty good deal. Plus, you get a copy of the split 7″ with Elephant Micah for freebies! You also get three songs you can download right away, and will get a link to download the rest of the release when it comes out on October 28th.

You can listen to three of the tracks here:

While you’re at it, you should check out the Hiss Golden Messenger Daytrotter session!

(Upcoming Show) Nellie McKay at CSPS in Cedar Rapids on 9/27

Nellie McKay
It’s difficult to summarize Nellie McKay’s very diverse career. Since the release of her first double album Get Away From Me– which is how I first heard her- she’s released four more albums, had a painful breakup with her record label, starred on Broadway, acted in a couple of films, and generally exhibited her resistance to staying in any one place for very long. Irrepressible, unsinkable, unbelievable Nellie McKay.

When I saw her in 2008 at The Dakota in Minneapolis with my wife and daughter (where the above picture was taken) she stayed primarily at the piano with a few ukelele tunes and performed a few songs from a proposed politically-themed musical that I’m not sure was ever produced.

So, when I heard that she was coming to our wonderful CSPS Hall, I was very excited to see her again– she draws from a very rich palate and Cedar Rapids will be guaranteed a very unpredictable and rich musical experience. Not to be missed, frankly.

The show will be at 7PM, and tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Visit the Legion Arts website for more details.

And, if Nellie’s flight gets in on time, she’ll be doing an interview with Gordon Paulsen on KCCK at approximately 4:20PM. Tune in on the radio at 88.3 FM in Cedar Rapids, or online at KCCK.org.

While you’re at it, you should check out Nellie’s Daytrotter.com session!

 

 

Gayngs Related Minneapolis Band Poliça to Play Voices Warehouse in Dubuque 9/25

What does one do when Ryan Olson, the mastermind behind the Minneapolis Supergroup Gayngs suggests that you start your own band? Well, if you are Channy Leanagh (née Casselle) formerly of Minneapolis folk band Roma di Luna and one of the vocalists in Gayngs– you take the suggestion and help. Olson took some of the songs that Channy had been writing and added some of his own electronic wizardry– a process similar to how he grew the Gayngs album. Olson then called in some other musicians he had worked with the vision of creating not just a solo Leanagh project but a complete band.

The unique formula of Poliça (pronounced POE-LISA) takes the vocoder fetish from Gayngs (and Bon Iver for that matter) and layers it over a no-guitars lineup of electronics (mostly handled by Leanagh in a live settng), insane bass guitar by Chris Bierden of Twin Cities Indie Psych band Vampire Hands, and twin drummers Drew Christopherson (of Olson’s bands Digitata and Blunts) and Ben Ivascu (of Olson’s bands Building Better Bombs and Marijuana Deathsquads). Mike Noyce of Gayngs and Bon Iver guests on a couple of tracks, too. Poliça brings a significant pedigree to the table and the results are impressive– a very trip-hop electronica sound reminiscent of Portishead in my opinion.

Since Poliça released their debut album Give You The Ghost on February 14th on Olson’s Totally Gross National Product label (on CD and LP) they’ve been touring seemingly non-stop in the US and Europe. They played Iowa City in February as part of their album release shows, so it’s pretty interesting that they will be back in Eastern Iowa playing the Voices Warehouse Gallery on September 25th. Voices is a really special venue down in the Warehouse district of Dubuque. Beautiful exposed brick and pipes with a well-worn wood floor housing interesting sculptures, prints and paintings. I’ve seen a couple of shows there– Tortoise and Bo Ramsey and both were cozy personal shows.

Poliça played “Dark Star” on Jimmy Kimmel last week, and it was announced that they have signed to Mom + Pop Music (home of Andrew Bird, An Horse, Sleigh Bells) who will reissue the album and have already released a remix EP for “Dark Star.” All really great news for the band who will be opening for Bon Iver’s upcoming four-night run at Radio City Music Hall, which is just before the Dubuque show.

Opening the show will be Canon Blue, aka Daniel James. James’ new album Rumspringa is a orchestral/chamber pop album that was recorded while on tour with Efterklang. Check the audio out on his site– beautiful stuff.

Tickets for Poliça and Canon Blue are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. The show starts at 8PM. For more information check out the Voices Warehouse website.

Check out Polica’s Daytrotter Session Here.

(Upcoming Show) The Mighty Men of Dawes Return to Iowa – The Englert, Iowa City 8/19/2012

Taylor and Wylie of Dawes
Since the last time California band Dawes graced a stage in Eastern Iowa in 2010 they’ve been busy. Last year they released their sophomore album Nothing Is Wrong, got their video for “Time Spent In Los Angeles” added to VH1’s Top 20, tapped as his touring band by Robbie Robertson (and backed him on Letterman!), toured seemingly non-stop around the world both headlining and in support of bands like Mumford & Sons as well as hitting the festival stages at Coachella and Lollapalooza.

After being spoiled with a bunch of performances in 2009 and 2010 (three Barnstormer shows, RIBCO, Barn on the Fourth in Maquoketa, Gabes) we’re excited to have the band back in Iowa with what should be an amazing show at the beautiful Englert Theater in Iowa City next Sunday, 8/19. Joining them is fellow Barnstormer and Daytrotter.com alum Nathaniel Rateliff.

Here is video I shot of “So Well” from when Dawes played Gabes in Iowa City in August of 2010:

This promises to be one of the great shows of this year, so don’t miss it. The crowd will be packed with Barnstormer regulars ready to welcome the boys back, so the crowd will be bringing the love and if past experience dictates, the band will respond with an amazing show.

Be sure to pick up the August issue of Little Village Magazine where I have an interview with Taylor Goldsmith. You can read the whole issue online HERE.

Tickets are $16 in Advance and $18 the day of the show and are general admission.

Details are HERE.

More Daytrotter Vinyl Goodness! Daytrotter Presents No. 1: The Civil Wars & The Lumineers

Though obviously not the first foray into vinyl releases by the gem in the crown of Rock Island, IL known as Daytrotter.com, it is the first of what I hope will be a long-running series of split releases of Daytrotter Sessions. There have been a few releases that have sported Daytrotter lineage– notably the 2011 Nathaniel Rateliff Live 10″ (still in the store!), the Iron and Wine/Low Anthem split plus some 7″es that included a track here and there.

The most recent release was announced this week, and is a split of Grammy Winners The Civil Wars backed with The Lumineers. This release is being touted as “Daytrotter Presents No. 1” and is available for pre-sale right now. The really nice aspect of this is although the ordering window is until July 3rd, Daytrotter is going to press as many as are ordered! Talk about a really nice way to accommodate collectors while also preserving limitedness! The vinyl will be pressed in 180g vinyl and will bear the trademark Johnnie Cluney representations of the two groups.

The album will be $35 plus shipping or $26.25 plus shipping for folks who support Daytrotter by subscribing as I do. Between this discount and the discount for the Barn on the Fourth of July Counting Crows show tickets, I’ve already paid for my year of subscription. But, if you are still on the fence about subscribing– if you buy a 1 year subscription for yourself of a friend, you get this record for free (well, you have to pay for shipping)! In fact, this is the cheaper route anyway, since the subscription is $24, you effectively save $2.25 off of the regular member price!

I’ve listened to both the Civil Wars session and the Lumineers session, and both are simpatico– beautiful acoustic folk sessions. A delightful way to kick off this series.

What sessions would you like to see in future installments of Daytrotter Presents? I’d like to see Gary Clark Jr., The Pines, Pieta Brown, Umphrey’s McGee, Moby (that version of “Ring of Fire” is fantastic!), Cowboy Junkies, a Dawes double!… The list goes on… Your votes in the comments!

Click Here to buy a subscription to Daytrotter and get the free Daytrotter Presents No. 1 (by July 3rd)

Click Here to buy Daytrotter Presents No. 1 without a membership purchase.

(Upcoming Show) Counting Crows Bring Tour to Codfish Hollow Barn for 4th of July!

Codfish Hollow Barn in Maquoketa, IA Ready to Be Stormed

As many things do any more, it all started with a tweet.

Around the time that Dawes played the “Barn on the Fourth” show in Maquoketa, IA at Codfish Hollow in 2010, Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows tweeted that he wanted to play in a barn. Last month it was announced that Counting Crows would be performing in Cedar Rapids as part of their RAGBRAI event. At that time, I speculated that it would have been a good time to do a Daytrotter Barnstormer show and mentioned it to Tiffany Biehl (Tiffany and her husband organize the Barnstormer shows on their farm) on Facebook, and she responded with “I wish.”

For the last couple of weeks Daytrotter has been featuring some of the notable sessions from the previous Barnstormer shows, so when Codfish Hollow posted to Facebook yesterday about some big news coming up, I figured it was going to be a Barnstormer announcement since Codfish Hollow has had the distinction of being the home base for these shows.

Wishes apparently come true! This morning Counting Crows sent out an e-mail to their fans about their decision to release their newest album of covers Underwater Sunshine for free via BitTorrent. Included in this e-mail was an update about their upcoming Outlaw Roadshow summer tour, which included this:

The first leg (Featuring Counting Crows, Good Old War, Foreign Fields, and Filligar) has already been onsale for a week. It starts in Asbury Park and heads north through Connecticut and upstate NY to Ontario then criss-crosses down through the Great Lake States and the Shenandoah Valley, passing back & forth through Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana, and Virginia before traveling down south to Alabama, South Carolina, and Mississippi just west of the Tennessee state line. It ends in Maquoketa, Iowa and Rock Island, Illinois where all the bands will celebrate Independence Day at Codfish Hollow Barn playing a Barnstormer show and then retire to Rock Island to record Daytrotter Sessions. (emphasis mine)

The details for this show are only just finalizing right now, so there isn’t any information about tickets yet, but considering that the venue (also known as a “barn”) has a reasonable capacity of around 500, these tickets will be as rare as hen’s teeth, as they say. I’ll update this post with any information that I get.

What a wonderful opportunity for Eastern Iowa!

You should consider signing up for a subscription to Daytrotter— a fantastic deal at $2 per month for some amazing sessions and other perks.

Click Here to listen to Counting Crows last Daytrotter Session.

Daytrotter to Reissue John Denver 1971 Classic on Limited Vinyl

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to hang out with Sean Moeller at the Horseshack during one particularly sweltery June afternoon over a couple of welcome PBR’s shooting the shit about a lot of stuff, but he shared with me that one of his dreams was to launch a boutique vinyl label. Really, it was the logical progression from the special recording sessions that happen at the studio.

In the ensuing years, we have been treated to a few Daytrotter-partnered releases– notably the Iron & Wine split release with Low Anthem last year comprised of two Daytrotter sessions.

Today a special missive came from the stables announcing that Daytrotter will be reissuing John Denver’s 1971 classic Poems, Prayers & Promises remastered lovingly to vinyl for the album’s 40th anniversary. This album is one of many brilliant folk albums in Denver’s extensive catalog, but has two of the big signature songs, “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” and “Sunshine On My Shoulders” as well as some well-chosen covers of James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” as well as a startlingly impassioned take on the Beatles classic “Let It Be.”

The release was produced with the participation of Denver’s estate and features an interpretation by in-house artist Johnnie Cluney of the original cover art. The release will be limited to 1000 and available exclusively through the Daytrotter.com website and sold by Wolfgang’s Vault for $12 to peeps who are monthly subscribers (like your truly) or for $18 to everyone else.

This release is pretty damn special, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I got my order in before I reported this you ya’ll (sorry, but that’s how it is).

Click Here to read the post from the Official John Denver site.

BTW: $2 a month is a good deal for a subscription to Daytrotter.com.

(Upcoming Show) The Pines at CSPS on February 4, 2012 – Video debut for “Cry Cry Crow”

The Pines Live at CSPS in Cedar Rapids 9-3-11

Red House Records recording artists and former Iowa City band The Pines are returning to the big stage at CSPS in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, February 4th.

The Pines were here just last September as the third act to play the newly re-opened CSPS which had gone under a very extensive remodeling and updating over the previous year. The picture above is from that show.

This time the band is back as part of a tour supporting the release of the band’s fourth album Dark So Gold which came out this week and has already drawn some critical praise for its uniquely moody atmospheric approach to folk blues.

A first for the band– a video has been produced for the song “Cry Cry Crow” from Dark So Gold. Written and directed by Andre Durand who also did the “Calgary” video for Bon Iver, it captures the mysterious vibe of the song well. I hope the band will continue making videos!

The Pines will be hitting the Legion Arts CSPS Hall stage at 8PM. Tickets are $11 in advance and $15 at the door. Click Here to visit the Legion Arts website for more details.

By the way, you should consider visiting Daytrotter to check out their Pines session.

The upcoming Tour Dates (from the Pines Website):

Date Venue City
Friday, February 3, 2012 Cafe Paradiso Fairfield, IA
  8pm show
Saturday, February 4, 2012 CSPS -Legion Arts Cedar Rapids, IA
  8pm show
Friday, February 17, 2012 Cedar Cultural Center – Dark So Gold Record Release Minneapolis, MN
  Jeffrey Foucalt opens
Saturday, February 18, 2012 SPACE Evanston, IL
  10pm show – Sad Brad Smith opens
Friday, March 2, 2012 Ironwood Theater Ironwood, MI
  7:30pm show
Saturday, March 3, 2012 Stagenorth Washburn, WI
  7:30pm show
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 South By South West Music Festival Austin, TX
  performance date and time TBA
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 The Iron Horse Northampton, MA
  7pm show with The Parkington Sisters
Thursday, March 29, 2012 City Winery New York, NY
  The Pines open for Mason Jennings
Friday, March 30, 2012 City Winery New York, NY
  opening for Mason Jennings
Saturday, March 31, 2012 Castaway’s Ithaca, NY
  Richie Stearns opens
Friday, April 6, 2012 The Englert Theater Iowa City, IA
  opening for Mason Jennings
Saturday, April 7, 2012 Turner Hall Milwaukee, WI
  opening for Mason Jennings
Friday, April 20, 2012 Stoughton Opera House Stoughton, WI
  7:30pm
Saturday, April 21, 2012 Old Town School of Folk Music Chicago, IL
  Opening for Loudon Wainwright two shows 7pm & 10pm
Sunday, April 22, 2012 Severson Dells Nature Center Rockford, IL
  3pm show
Saturday, May 19, 2012 Sacred Heart Duluth, MN
  Erik Koskinen opens
Saturday, July 21, 2012 Moonshine Showcase – Broadway Theater Wabasha, MN
 
Friday, October 26, 2012 Red Barn Concert Series Northfield, MN
  7:00pm doors – SOLD OUT
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