Ryan Adams Emerges from Self-Imposed Exile, Looks Around Suspiciously, Announces Stuff

We’re just past the Ides of March and although he has historically exclaimed “Et Tu, Internets?” this month has brought us a bunch of new Ryan Adams news. The last time we heard from our hero, he had fired up his PaxAm imprint and released two albums that had been hiding in his archives– his Metal Space Opera Orion and Cardinals III/IV which was two albums worth of Easy Tiger-Era recordings with The Cardinals.

To accomplish his desired DIY apprach, he assembled a staff to handle the shipping and orders that were done via the PaxAm website. In the case of Orion things went pretty well, but apparently folks were having issues with delivery of the III/IV album that were placed on the PaxAm site and went to the internet boards to bitch about it. The fact of the matter is that there was an accident involving the guy who was handling the orders and things got delayed and people complained loudly and frequently as is the manner of some.

Fed up, Ryan responded on the boards:

All future Pax-Am releases are cancelled and I don’t have any plans to continue anymore merch. Maybe I will sell the rights to someone else and let them make this stuff. All I know is I am not going to do it. I don’t believe we did a bad job…. The truth is both releases cost a boat load to manufacture and so many good people who I enjoy working with are involved in a hands-on way, all the way down to the manufacturing, that I seriously doubt the vinyl made any money back. It was about the tunes and doing it right and making quality vinyl. We took time to do it right.
Clearly I was 100 percent wrong that this was a good idea and I am really glad I tried but am totally done. Sorry if that sounds passive aggressive or something but I am just being real. I over it and over blogging and I had to borrow this very computer to even write this crap. Blah.

And with that he went into radio silence, but clearly this wasn’t the end of the story as we have now heard about a Record Store Day 4-song, 2 colored vinyl 7″ single EP of Cardinology-era previously-unreleased tracks called Class Mythology that will be a limited edition of 2500 copies with a picture sleeve, poster and sticker and will be on PaxAm Records! It is confirmed from his Facebook page with a mock-up of a single. The distributor for this record is going to be Junketboy who has a history of doing small-run releases like this. So, it would appear that he is delivering on the idea of letting someone else press the records. Hopefully he is getting his say on the quality of the records as his desire to get the mastering right had delayed releases in the past. In the same post where he bows out of pressing records, he also comments on the Lost Highway vinyl and in particular the new 10th Anniversary clear vinyl releases:

I was simply signed to Universal/ Lost Highway as an artist and had no say in the quality of the product. I was appalled they ever released ANY of my albums on vinyl since NONE were mastered for vinyl including the clear GOLD thing. I still have the original ones and they sound like ass. THAT is my personal opinion and I don’t care. Sorry. I like mastered vinyl.

I picked up the 2 LP clear vinyl version of Gold recently, and I don’t think it sounds “like ass” but there are a couple of spots where there are some clicks present, so there is a bit of a QC problem. I was particularly interested in this release as it included the “Side 4” bonus tracks that were only available on the first 150,000 CD pressings of Gold. This release fixes that sin.

So, with this RSD release, there is some hope for the future of other archive releases– in particular, folks are really anxious to get to hear Blackhole, which is another release that apparently did not leak to bootlegging. There is photographic evidence around the time he was working on the III/IV ramp-up that it had been mastered to vinyl, so perhaps we are close to this actually coming out if he’s working with a distributor.

On top of this great news, it was announced in an e-mail from the PaxAm site that Ryan is working with legendary producer Glyn Johns on his first album of new material since 2008. Johns is credited with some of Rock’s great albums including Who’s Next, The Stones Sticky Fingers, and Clapton’s Slowhand.  Clearly keeping the trust in the family,  Johns’ son Ethan produced Heartbreaker, Gold and 24 for Adams.

The question would be how he’s going to release this album– he is not on a label at the moment other than PaxAm– and he used TVT/The Orchard to distribute III/IV to stores and online. So, potentially, the new album could still be on PaxAm. Really, the only issues were the orders placed on the PaxAm website, so that is probably solved by not doing preorders by himself.

While we ponder the always-unpredictable career of Ryan Adams, on Monday he announced a tour of Europe starting in June that will be just him with an acoustic guitar playing new songs he wrote over the winter. “I’d like to play them for whoever wants to hear them,” he posted to Facebook, “Please don’t yell at me,” These are the songs that evidently moved his wife Mandy Moore to tweet, “been listening to my hubby write insanely beautiful music over the past few weeks. blows my mind at how easy he makes it look. the nerve! :)”

This will be the first organized tour since Adams announced in early 2009 that he was leaving the Cardinals following a very extensive tour in support of Cardinology. This announcement was for a few reasons, but likely primarily related to his affliction with Ménière’s disease that caused severe vertigo among other afflictions. He’s clearly easing back into touring since this tour will be solo acoustic. I’m not alone in hoping that he brings this tour to the US.

Here are the European tour dates (from his Facebook post):

Friday, June 10, 2011 Stockholm, Sweden Cirkus
Saturday, June 11, 2011 Oslo, Norway Folketeatret
Monday, June 13, 2011 Malmö, Sweden The Consert House
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 Copenhagen, Denmark Koncerhauset
Thursday, June 16, 2011 Lisbon, Portugal Aula Magna
Friday, June 17, 2011 Porto, Portugal Teatro Sa Da Bandeira
Monday, June 20, 2011 London, UK Barbican
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 Brighton, UK Dome
Thursday, June 23, 2011 Manchester, UK Bridgewater Hall
Saturday, June 25, 2011 Glasgow, UK Academy
Sunday, June 26, 2011 Oxford, UK Oxford New Theatre
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 Amsterdam, Holland Concertgebouw

Ryan Adams News: Pax Am Records Site Update, Cardinals III/IV Details

This week the Ryan Adams fans of the world got some news that has been anticipated since the release of Orion earlier this year. The storefront for Ryan’s vanity record label PaxAm got a serious makeover in the form of some great vintage video arcade-themed navigation as well as a bunch of new places to keep track of the world of Ryan– a video page, a page for mp3 downloads— the first things up are some jams from the beginning of the Easy Tiger sessions, future spot for tour dates, a discography, and News. It’s cool and in the spirit of Ryan’s love of vintage arcade games.

The revamped store was kicked off with some leftover tour merchandise from the Cold Roses, Jacksonville City Nights and 29 era. Mostly teeshirts, but there was a neon rose watch available, too! There was a limited number of the “Oblivion” pink 7″es available as well. Currently on the site is the promised re-press of Orion that is not in the first pressing chrome gatefold sleeve and is probably not clear vinyl. They are promising some new merchandise to come as well!

The other big news is the next release from the archives– a 2 LP release of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals III/IV.  The sessions for Easy Tiger in 2007 produced something in the order of 60 tracks recorded over a marathon six months at the infamous Electric Lady Studios in New York City. Easy Tiger was the release that followed the 2005 trifecta of Cold Roses, Jacksonville City Nights and 29.

The reason this release is called III/IV is because it chronologically follows Cold Roses which can be considered I/II. On a Facebook post from 7/15, Ryan said,

“It’s a double and was originally going to be III as in the Cardinals third album. Then we made IV and then lots of things happened and Easy Tiger came out so it got shelved. In the spirit of honoring these albums as they were intended- when looking back on the sessions it was decided in the last few days of them by the band that we were going to release it as a double record. I believe the thinking was ( by the powers that be and by our friends ) that it was too early for another double LP after Cold Roses so we took two songs off of it and put it away for a future day.”

III/IV comes in a number of formats– CD, download and vinyl. You can see what should be the first pressing vinyl and if it is what Ryan initially said about the vinyl those are 180g red and blue transparent LP’s.  On a post to the Ryan Adams Archive boards on 6/12 Ryan said that he worked with Andy West on the art. Andy did the Cold Roses artwork. You can see a download card next to the big III/IV poster. Ryan said in the same post that there would be some extras with the “expanded version” and that they might be available with the download card.

Per the Pax Am site, the pre-order information will be coming soon. I’ll update this article as I get more information. Visit the Pax Am Records site and sign up with your e-mail address to be kept up to date, and they are conveniently providing an RSS feed, too!

Here is the tracklist for III/IV with links to content online where it exists.

Side A

Breakdown Into The Resolve (7/22/06 YouTube video of 7/22 Performance)
Dear Candy
Wasteland
Ultraviolet Light (originally part of the “Warren Peace” ryanadams.com songs.
Stop Playing With My Heart

Side B

Lovely And Blue (was up on ryanadams.com as “France” YouTube video)
Happy Birthday (demo version on YouTube)
Kisses Start Wars
The Crystal Skull
Users

Side C

No
Numbers
Gracie (demo was up on ryanadams.com as “Hello Gracie’)
Icebreaker
Sewers at the Bottom of the Wishing Well (up on ryanadams.com as part of Sad Dracula’s Fasterpiece album)

Side D

Typecast (10/15/06)
Star Wars
My Favorite Song
P.S.
Death And Rats
Kill The Lights

CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER THE VINYL VERSION OF III/IV. It will ship on 12/14.

UPDATE: Amazon already has the III/IV 2 CD set on their site and it lists the release date as December 14th and lists the label as TVT/The Orchard. Ryan had mentioned that he was working on a distribution deal for this and other releases. Click on the first Amazon link below to listen to :30 second samples of the tracks. The second link is for the vinyl edition!

Click Here to visit the PaxAm Records website.

Click Here for the Ryan Adams Facebook page.

Ryan Adams Delivers Hot, Steamy Love Note for V-D

With characteristic flair, Ryan Adams delivered an iTunes-Exclusive EP entitled Extra Cheese today– in time for your Valentine’s Day soundtrack.

The EP is a collection of seven songs for a measly $3.99. Six of the songs are previously released with “Hey There, Mrs. Lovely” mostly unreleased.

I say mostly, because “Hey There Mrs. Lovely” which was recorded in 2000 for the infamous unreleased Destroyer sessions. “Hey There, Mrs. Lovely” would eventually become “These Girls” with a slight lyric rewrite on Easy Tiger.

It’s a bit curious why this song was chosen and effectively released this way. It will certainly spark anew the speculation about the Lost Highway boxset that was announced in 2007 which includes the Destroyer sessions along with 48 Hours, and The Suicide Handbook. It’s cool to get an unreleased song as part of this, but since it became another song, I would think there would be other interesting choices– but whatever.

Here is the tracklist with the album the song comes from:

  1. “Two” from Easy Tiger
  2. “Blossom” from Cold Roses
  3. “Answering Bell” from Gold
  4. “Evergreen” from Cardinology
  5. “My Love for You Is Real” from Follow the Lights
  6. “Desire” from Demolition
  7. “Hey There, Mrs. Lovely”

Some mp3’s from the Destroyer sessions at An Aquarium Drunkard Here (doesn’t include “Mrs. Lovely”).

Ryan Adams - Extra Cheese - EP Click Here to buy Extra Cheese at iTunes

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals “Fix It” Available on iTunes

As promised, “Fix It” the first single from Cardinology is available from iTunes today. The iTunes version of Cardinology has a bonus track “The Color of Pain.” If you pre-order Cardinology, you will be billed for and able to download “Fix It” today ($.99) and the remainder of the album’s cost will be charged separately when it becomes available it on 10/28.

Download it here:
Ryan Adams - Fix It - Single

Click Here to view the nifty illustrated lyrics to “Fix It” done by Leah Hayes who provided the artwork for the vinyl version of Cardinology, which is available for pre-order today.

New Ryan Adams and the Cardinals: Cardinology Live Previews

On the 17th it was announced by Lost Highway that Ryan Adams and the Cardinals will be releasing a new album on October 28th titled Cardinology. As expected, Ryan and Co. are already pulling the songs out on their Fall tour. Yours truly will be seeing Ryan again this year and shooting pix for a review at the Ames show on October 7th. The songs I’ve heard so far are pretty good and certainly on par with Easy Tiger. Since Archive.org has a pretty good collection of Ryan shows, I thought I’d provide links to individual mp3’s so you can listen to a live version of the album before its release. All of the tracks from the album aren’t represented by shows on archive.org, yet, but as shows are recorded and shared there, I’ll update the links here until the release of the album.

BTW: We are going to be able to download “Fix It” on Tuesday. I’m not sure which sites, yet, but I’ll update this when I find out. According to some folks on the ryanadamsarchive.com forum, “Fix It” was released to radio today. The single will be available for download on October 7th.

Update: Ryan is providing a streamed sample of “Fix It” from his blog site:

Check out the beautiful cover art for the vinyl version of Cardinology by Adam’s chum Leah Hayes— author of the graphic novel Funeral of the Heart. According to a poster-in-the-know on the ryanadamsarchive forum this limited vinyl release will have colored vinyl, artwork by Leah Hayes including illustrated lyric book and the exclusive 7″ of “Orange” b/w “Asteroid” and will also include an mp3 download! I’ll have to try to score some record flats of this!!

Click here to read the post and to play the sample (requires Flash)

Here is the track list for Cardinology:

“Born Into a Light” (10-16-2008)
“Go Easy” (9-26-2008)
“Fix It” (9-4-2008)(9-7-2008)(9-25-2008)(9-26-2008)
“Magick” (9-4-2008)(9-7-2008)(9-25-2008)(9-26-2008)
“Cobwebs” (9-7-2008)(9-25-2008)
“Let Us Down Easy”
“Crossed Out Name” (9-4-2008)(9-25-2008)(9-26-2008)
“Natural Ghost” (9-25-2008)
“Sink Ships” (9-7-2008)(9-25-2008)
“Evergreen” (9-30-2008)
“Like Yesterday” (9-25-2008)
“Stop” (10-16-2008)

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