(Upcoming Release) What’s In A Name? Members of fDeluxe Announce First Album in 26 Years Together- “Gaslight” to Release in September

Photo credit: Steve Parke

There is a lot that can be said about Prince, and at this stage in his life and career he has firmly established himself as one of the Rock and Pop greats and the sellout tour that he is currently undertaking is a statement made about his career to date– every night is a different lineup of songs from his extensive and prolific career and he is inviting guests to perform with him from his past and current notable artists. In this post-Elvis, post-James Brown, post-Michael Jackson time, we are lucky to have His Purple Majesty walking among us.

One thing is certain, though, when Prince chooses to surround himself with other musicians, they are usually some of the best in the business– The Revolution, New Power Generation, The Time, Sheila E., –the list goes on. One band of musicians that would have probably continued to exist as a footnote in the Wikipedia article that is Prince’s life was The Family. And, it appears that Prince would have preferred it stay that way.

The story about The Family is kind of a notorious one amongst the Prince faithful. Following the massive success of the “Purple Rain” movie and the extensive two years of subsequent touring, took its toll on The Time– who was in the movie and was supporting band on the tour– and ultimately caused key members to quit– namely Morris Day, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Prince collected the remaining members of the Time proposing a reboot including his then-fiancee Susannah Melvoin, twin sister of Revolution guitarist Wendy Melvoin– starting the trend of his svengali-like tendencies of producing albums of his romantic interests. In addition to Susannah, Prince proposed Paul “St. Paul” Peterson as the other lead vocalist and added Eric Leeds on Sax and keyboards.

The resulting self-titled album in 1985 was comprised mostly of Prince compositions and was performed completely by him except for the vocals and sax parts. The band was short-lived, however as St. Paul left the band, forcing the end of the group, but by this time Prince had moved on to other projects including Sheila E.’s Romance 1600 and the next two albums of Prince and the Revolution as well as the feature film “Under The Cherry Moon.” Prince was not happy with Peterson’s departure, and it seems like he might still hold a bit of a grudge 23 years later.

The story of this band would have stopped here if it wasn’t for a reunion of one of ?uestlove’s favorite Paisley Park-era bands as part of one of The Roots Pre-Grammy parties in 2007. (Athough, I think the genesis for this reunion might have really started with the band Edith Funker who ?uestlove was part of with Susannah and Wendy) It was around this time that Paul Peterson announced the reunion of the members of The Family and that they were working on a new record!

This was over three years ago! A project like this one takes a lot of time and resources and is a good example about how the Internet can facilitate. With members split geographically between California and Minnesota and having careers and lives outside of this project they slowly recorded the album supported in some cases by frequent flier and car rental miles donated by fans eager to see this project get off the ground. Periodically the band would come out of hiding streaming internet video of recording sessions and taking fans questions and posting the occasional raw unmastered track for fans to hear the progress.

The Family 2.0 Live in Minneapolis

The first real fruits of the reunion of the band came in the form of a live performance at The Cabooze in Minneapolis in June of 2009 as part of the “Prince Family Reunion.” The reunited band calling themselves “The Family 2.0” of St. Paul, Susannah,  Jellybean and Eric Leeds plus members of Mint Condition put on a short-but-amazing set which included songs from the first record as well as newly-written songs. The crowd was excited and the band put on a high-energy set.

Since that show the band has struggled with a certain artist who has been blocking the group’s use of the name “The Family” as well as any PR that even implies their past relationship with him. The first change the band made was their name– they became “fDELUXE” last year. As awkward as that name might be, it really serves to point out that while the core of the band acknowledges a past together in a previous band, this new incarnation is much more than vocals added to tracks recorded by one man.

This week, band manager Neil Richards of Square One Entertainment announced via the fDeluxe Facebook page that the long-time-coming reunion album is going to be titled Gaslight after one of the album tracks and not The Family as they had originally planned, and will come out September 12th.

Ringing in at 11 tracks, Gaslight has the expected two-lead vocalists of Susannah and St. Paul along with the core members of Jellybean and Eric Leeds, but they also bring in an extended “family”-  if you will- of  Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman, guitarist extraordinaire and husband of Susannah, Doyle Bramhall II, JP DeLaire, Oliver Leiber co-writing and performing…  as well as members of The Hornheads, Ricky Peterson, Charlie Drayton and more helping out during the recording. fDELUXE, indeed!

The band has announced a record-release show in Minneapolis as well on September 16th at the Loring Theater. Ticket information to come as well as other tour dates!

In the meantime, you should sign up for their e-mail list to stay on top of things fDELUXE, and get a free download of “Over the Canyon.” CLICK HERE to visit the band’s website and to sign up.



Click Here for the fDELUXE Facebook Page and become a FAN!

Click Here to follow fDELUXE on Twitter

Click Here for the fDELUXE Website

Here are the pictures I shot at the June 2009 show of the band:

 

Upcoming Release: Dawes – “Nothing Is Wrong” on 6/7/11 – Build Your Own!

The much-anticipated sophomore release from North Hills, CA band Dawes was announced yesterday to much joy (at least around here…). The album called Nothing Is Wrong with the artwork above will come out on ATO Records which was the home of North Hills— the band’s first release. Following the astonishing success of their first album and in particular the amazing “When My Time Comes” which ended up in a Chevrolet trucks commercial– Nothing Is Wrong is a tough act to follow. Thankfully, the band has been playing songs from the new album for over a year, so we already know that there are some contenders on this album as well. Looking at the tracklist below, we see that “Million Dollar Bill” which was also a Middle Brother track makes an appearance as well.

The original North Hills album came out on 2 LP 45 RPM 180g vinyl. I confirmed with Taylor Goldsmith that there will indeed be a vinyl version of Nothing Is Wrong as well!

To start the buzz, Dawes has made the track “If I Wanted Someone” a free download in exchange of your e-mail address.

Here is the tracklist for Nothing Is Wrong, and I’m providing links to live performances of the songs from archive.org:

1. Time Spent in Los Angeles 2-13-10 2-15-10 5-14-10

2. If I Wanted Someone 2-13-10 2-15-10 5-14-10 6-27-10 11-13-10

3. My Way Back Home 11-13-10

4. Coming Back to a Man 1-23-11

5. So Well 7-4-10

6. How Far We’ve Come 9-12-09 10-09-09 10-12-09 10-24-09 2-15-10 5-14-10 11-20-10

7. Fire Away 5-14-10 6-17-10 11-20-10

8. Moon in the Water 2-15-10 11-13-10

9. Million Dollar Bill

10. The You Laugh 1-23-11

11. A Little Bit of Everything 11-13-10

Here are the upcoming Dawes shows (from the Dawes website):

May
05 – Houston, TX – Fitzgeralds
06 – Austin, TX – La Zona Rosa 

07 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theatre
09 – Orlando, FL – Beacham Theater
10 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room
11 – Tampa, FL – State Theatre
12 – St Augustine, FL – Cafe 11
13 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
14 – Birmingham, AL – Secret Stages Music Festival (2PM)
14 – Nashville, TN – Cannery Ballroom
15 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
17 – Charlotte, NC – Visulite Theatre
18 – Carborro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
19 – Athens, GA – Melting Point
20 – Chattanooga, TN – Nightfall Series (Free Show)
23 – New Haven, CT – Toad’s
24 – Portland, ME – State Theatre
25 – Northampton, MA – Iron Horse
26 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
27 – Montreal, OC – Le National
28 – Toronto, ON – Opera House
29 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall 

June
01 – Louisville, KY – Headliners
02 – Indianapolis, IN – The Vogue

03 – Chicago, IL – The Vic Theatre
05 – Hunter, NY – Mountain Jam (1:30PM Set)
06 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant 

07 – Louisville, KY – Iroquois Ampitheatrer
08 – Columbus, OH – LC Ampitheatre
09 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE – Indoors
10 – Philadelphia, PA – Mann Center for Performing Arts
11 – Vienna, VA – Filene Center at Wolf Trap
13 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
14 – Seattle, WA – Moore Theatre
15 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
16 – Bend, OR – Athletic Club of Bend
17 – Chico, CA – El Rey Theatre
18 – Los Angeles, CA – Orpheum Theatre
20– San Diego, CA – House of Blues
21 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre
22 – Phoenix, AZ – Marquee Theatre
23 – Las Vegas, NV – Silverton Casino
24 – Reno, NV – Knitting Factory
25 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theatre
July
02 – Emeryville, CA – High Sierra Music Festival
07 – Winnipeg, MB – Winnipeg Folk Festival
08 – Winnipeg, MB – Winnipeg Folk Festival

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

(Free Download) Pieta Brown Encore Daytrotter Session

Today Daytrotter posted a session I’ve been waiting over a year-and-a-half to hear– Pieta Brown‘s encore session!

The session was recorded Thursday, June 11, 2009 using a short-lived band lineup called “Dream #9” with Jim Viner on drums, Jon Penner on bass and Bo Ramsey on guitar. They performed only two shows in this configuration. June 11th at The Redstone Room in Davenport and then on June 12th at The Mill in Iowa City, which I reviewed.

Here is a picture of that band lineup from The Mill Show:

Pieta Brown and Dream #9 at The Mill

Pieta’s first Daytrotter session was recorded in March of 2008. Between these two sessions recorded less than a year apart, Pieta would go from being on a semi-major label to being “in limbo” with no label. A situation which was remedied by September 2009. Nevertheless, Pieta had self-released an EP titled Flight Time in October 2008 and both sessions include songs from Flight Time as well as her Shimmer EP— produced by Don Was and her debut release on Red House Records.

The session is a nice cross-section of Pieta’s career:

1. “#807” is from her 2005 release In The Cool, which was released on Valley Entertainment and apparently is still in print!

2. “Going Away Blues” is a Frank Stokes cover that Pieta also recorded for her self-released 2003 EP I Never Told which is impossibly out-of-print. I managed to get one of these when Pieta discovered a box last year.

3. “4th of July” also on In The Cool.

4. “Sunrise Highway #44” is from her self-released EP Flight Time which is still available on CDBaby.

5. “You’re My Lover Now” is from her debut Shimmer EP on Red House Records. This version differs from the EP version by having some nice subtle brushwork from Jim Viner.

Pieta Brown Daytrotter Encore Session: The Faint Light of All Lungs and Hearts

Pieta  Brown has tour dates coming up (from her website) with a show at the Mill Restaurant on April 9th:

Date Time Location
Sat Mar 19 Bluegrass & Roots Festival, River Falls, WI more info
Sat Apr 09 The Mill, Iowa City, IA more info
Sat Apr 16 Stoughton Opera House, Stoughton, Wisconsin more info
Thu May 26 SPACE, Evanston, IL more info
Sat May 28 Crossings At Carnegie, Zumbrota, MN more info
Fri Jun 03 Mountain Jam Music Festival, Hunter, NY more info
Sat Jun 04 Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, MA more info
Sun Jun 05 Club Passim, Cambridge, MA more info
Sat Aug 06 Edmonton Folk Festival, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA more info
Sun Aug 07 Edmonton Folk Festival, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA more info

 

(Upcoming Show) Charlie Mars with Griffin House at The Mill 3/5/11

This Saturday, March 5th brings to the Mill Restaurant in Iowa City former V2 Records singer-songwriter Charlie Mars. Charlie is wrapping up a run of dates that started at the beginning of February of East Coast and Midwest dates in support of his latest album Like A Bird, Like A Plane which came out in 2009. The bio on Mars’s site says that Like A Bird, Like A Plane is almost a “new debut.” While this album is his 5th release dating back to his 1996 album Broken Arrow.

The path to his major label release in 2004 on V2 Records (now folded– once home to The White Stripes and Moby) was an uneven one. The 150-dates-per-year touring over three years took a toll on him resulting in needing to enter rehab for substance abuse. Following that he split for Sweden choosing to recluse himself in obscurity. But, it was this move that allowed him to watershed the material that would become his self-titield major label debut in 2004. The major label backing gave his career the necessary re-launching. “I had no manager, no band, I hadn’t toured for about two years – I thought my career was done,” he says.

V2 gave him the radio exposure,  backing and critical praise. That ride ended in 2006 when V2 shuttered forcing Mars to reassess his career and start the daunting prospect of a follow up to what was his most successful release. He headed to Austin to assemble a band to record Like A Bird, Like A Plane.

The release has been out for over a year at this point and Mars spent most of 2010 touring in support of it. As I listen to the release, it strikes me as a solidly written and composed album. The album has a stripped down, acoustic approach with an almost Dub-like dissasembled percussion. The album is scattered with studio chatter and starts and stops that give the album a feel of immediacy and live performance. This is substantiated by the fact that Mars says that they tended to use the first takes and left in the “happy accidents” generated as they worked through the recordings.

The standout track for me is the slightly tongue-in-cheek “Listen to the Darkside” with its double entendre use of “darkside” to mean both the classic Pink Floyd record and possibly the advice of the narrator in the middle of a relationship. The song was featured in an episode of the made-for-Showtime series “Weeds” and benefits from a music video that features”Weeds” star Mary Louise Parker.

Charlie Mars will be performing at The Mill Restaurant in Iowa City on Saturday, March 5th at 9PM tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Charlie House opens.

You can order tickets from MidwesTIX.

Click Here to listen to “Listen to the Darkside” from Like A Bird, Like A Plane

Here is the video to “Listen to the Darkside”

Upcoming Show : The Play B-Sides Guide to the Gayngs Affiliyated Showcase

The super-mega-conglomerate quinvicatet known as Gayngs released their debut record in 2010. Titled Relayted, it was quickly praised by critics and fans and made quite a few year-end best-of lists. A seemingly impossible feat for an album with– by anyone’s estimation– having way too many cooks in the kitchen and a formula based on 70’s and 80’s soft rock.

Nonetheless, it is a great album and it works due to the singular vision of Ryan Olson: the court jester, band leader, and love train conductor. He is both the “Space Cowboy” and “Maurice” and capably speaks of the pompatus of love.

As if pulling off an album with 25 members wasn’t enough– Ryan gathered all of them for a pair of shows at First Avenue on the Friday following the album release that thematically was “The Last Prom on Earth” complete with limousines, balloons, prom formals and prom portraits. By all accounts it was one of the great live experiences last year. There were no promises that the band was going to ever do another show.

But, it was announced last Fall that a much smaller touring version of the band (a mere ten members) was going to do a quick nine-date run of the East Coast and Midwest culminating with a high-visibility shows in Austin for the Austin City Limits Festival. That tour was received well with a stop on Jimmy Fallon as well as a quick Daytrotter session. Unfortunately, there was some kind of mixup with the tour bus company which caused the band’s gear to end up in Nashville the night before their big ACL appearance and caused the band to cancel. But, it looks like Gayngs will be making up for their missed appearance by making it back to Austin in March for a few gigs at SXSW. The band will head out in the spring and summer for some other festivals and West Coast dates in June.

Gayngs is going to perform a “warmup” gig of sorts for SXSW next Sunday by completely taking over First Avenue Mainroom, The 7th Street Entry and The Record Bar with a lineup of “Affiliyated” bands starting at 6:30PM. In other words, this event will be a festival of 15 or so bands that have a connection with the members of Gayngs!

What we get is a kind of who’s who of the current Minneapolis music scene. I wasn’t familiar with all of these bands, so I did some research, and here is a kind of Guide to the Gayngs Affiliate Showcase.

The first observation I have is that while this might not be the 25-member lineup of Gayngs that played The Last Prom on Earth in May 2010, we should get a bigger version of Gayngs than the 10-person one that toured last fall!

Bands Playing The Mainroom:

Gayngs : Duh. Supergroup that is headlining the showcase. MySpace Facebook Website Twitter Vimeo Daytrotter Session

Doomtree Collective : Minneapolis’s premier hiphop collective with members that contributed to Relayted including P.O.S. and Dessa. Looking forward to hearing the other MC’s– especially SIMS, whose Lazerbeak-produced album Bad Time Zoo has been getting a lot of spin for me. There will be individual sets performed at The Record Bar as well (see below). Website Facebook MySpace Twitter

Solid Gold : It’s safe to say that the core of Gayngs is really Solid Gold since it was the initial collaboration of Ryan Olson and Zach Coulter and Adam Hurlburt of Solid Gold that started the project and they are the core part of the Relayted band. If you listen to Solid Gold’s music, you hear the shared DNA of both bands– Solid Gold has a penchant for 80’s rock and synths– just check out their slowed-down take of the Kenny Loggins Top Gun smash “Danger Zone” on their Synchronize EP. Website Facebook MySpace Twitter Daytrotter Session Daytrotter Session with Naughty By Nature(!!!!)

Megafaun : The first recruits into the Gayngs Army were North Carolina-meets-Eau Claire group Megafaun– the obvious connection being Joe Westerlund who is the one from Ryan Olson’s Wisconsin home town. I’m really loving their latest EP Heretofore– kind of a glitchy atmospheric, vocal harmony Americana. Website Facebook MySpace Twitter Daytrotter Session

Leisure Birds : The garage-psych band Leisure Birds contributed two members to Gayngs- Jake Luck and Nick Ryan. Leisure Birds released their debut album Copper Scroll for the label Totally Gross National Product in October 2010. MySpace Facebook

Alpha Consumer : Alpha Consumer seems to be known more for backing other musicians (Dosh, Andrew Bird) than for their own music– although they have released three albums. Michael Lewis from Alpha Consumer provided saxophone for Relayted. MySpace Facebook Twitter

Mystery Palace :   Mystery Palace is one of Ryan Olcott’s (formerly of 12 Rods) projects that center around his circuit bent music. Mystery Palace records for Totally Gross National Product. MySpace Facebook

Bands Playing the 7th Street Entry:

The Entry ends up being a showcase of bands on Ryan Olson’s record label Totally Gross National Product.

Har Mar Superstar : Wow– well, this should be interesting. I didn’t have an opportunity to see Har Mar Superstar when he was living in Minneapolis– he has moved from being an oddity to being completely embraced for his utter distorted personal view. I love his distinctly 80’s sounding Minneapolis funky sound, though. He recorded a cover of the George Michael classic “One More Try” with Gayngs last year. Click Here to download this from Stereogum. Website Facebook MySpace

Slapping Purses : Slapping Purses is the one-man electronic noise + electro beat of Jason Power. Promises to be loud and abrasive. If you’re into electronic glitchiness and beats, this is the act for you. Also on Totally Gross National Product. MySpace Facebook

Marijuana Deathsquads : Marijuana Deathsquads is Gayngs head honcho Ryan Olson’s other going music project. Marijuana Deathsquads started as a backing band for P.O.S. At the core of the group is essentially Minneapolis hardcore punk band Building Better Bombs also fronted by P.O.S. The lineup of Marijuana Deathsquads changes as they bring outside artists to collaborate with them. I guess you could think of MD as an early template for Gayngs. Records for Totally Gross National Product as well. Currently doing an in-residence with Har Mar Superstar in L.A. at Spaceland. Website Facebook MySpace

Spyder Baybie Raw Dog : Another act from the Totally Gross National Product stable. A spaced-out M.C. I guess you might say. MySpace

Moonstone Continuum : Progressive electronic music. Sounds like 70’s bands like Tangerine Dream or Kraftwerk to me. I liked the couple of songs I sampled on their MySpace page. On Totally Gross National Product. Their self-titled release comes as a 150g vinyl LP with digital download and a 23-page book of works by their “Lunarian Minister” M. Mikah Mackert. A really out-there release to be sure. MySpace Facebook

Albert : Analog synth music by Minneapolis musician Albert Elmore. Elmore has been releasing music via his website bbpwc.com since 2004 and encourages reuse and sampling through Creative Commons Share Alike Licensing, which is great. He also performs under a few aliases including Jon Jacob 3, Never Say DJ Fred Equipment and James St. Murder Laden Mitten Wonder among many others. His new album – a compilation of works dating back to 2004– will be released on vinyl on March 15th on Totally Gross National Product. Website Twitter Interview with MPLS.TV

Radical Cemetery : I couldn’t find much information about this band other than they had a DIY 90-minute cassette release last June in a limited run of 100 titled Stoned Minors.

Performances at The Record Room:

DJ Sets and Doomtree Solos : I think this has the potential to be a really interesting set of performances. I’m really digging the MC’s and producers in this collective. Sims, Dessa, P.O.S., Mike Mictlan, Paper Tiger, Lazerbeak.

The Gayngs Affiliyated Showcase is presented by the City Pages blog Gimme Noise. Tickets are $20 and Doors are at 6:30 PM on Sunday, March 6th. This is an 18+ show.

Click Here for the First Avenue page on this show with information on how to purchase tickets.

Gayngs 2011 Tour Dates (from Consequence of Sound):
03/06 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
03/11 – Austin, TX @ Stubbs
03/13 – Denton, TX @ 35 Confederate Festival
03/17 – Austin, TX @ SXSW / Mohawk
03/18 – Austin, TX @ SXSW /Lustre Pearle/ Dickies Party
04/15-17 – Indio, CA @ Coachella
05/28 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
05/29 – Quincy, WA @ Sasquatch Music Festival
06/01 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
06/04 –  San Diego, CA @ The Casbah

(Show Preview) Chicago Sextet Canasta at The Mill 2/4/11

Most of the press that surrounds the Chicago sextet Canasta is wrong.

Maybe I should be more clear. Upon my first listens of Canasta’s fantastic 2010 release The Fakeout, the Tease and the Breather I was immediately whisked back to my halcyon days of college in the early Nineties, when I had more hair on my head, less hair on my face and the dew of optimism had yet to be wiped from my eyes.

This hot tub time machine was made possible by very strong–and I use this non-ironically–Beatlesque Britpop influence. The soft tenor style of vocalist Matt Priest to me recalls singers like Ian McColloch from Echo & the Bunnymen, Nick Heyward from Haircut One-Hundred, and Kurt Ralske (aka Ultra Vivid Scene). The fact that Canasta is a six-piece helps them deliver beautiful, complicated, nearly-orchestral pop. Clean ringing guitars and gorgeous vocal harmonies floating over strings and keys draws easy comparisons to The Smiths.

Read the rest of the article at The Little Village website.

(Upcoming Shows) Pieta Brown & Friends – This Land is Your Music Residency at The Mill 12/4 & 12/11

It’s hard to believe that it already has been over a year since Pieta Brown hosted her first artist-in-residence at The Mill Restaurant. That show was three Thursday night shows in November last year (see my reviews for: 11/5, 11/12, 11/19). Next to the Daytrotter Barnstormer shows, these were some of my favorite shows of 2009– very intimate and special. The stage lighting and design by Stan Crocker was a great touch– an eclectic little living room. Pieta was using these shows to try out some live band configurations– solo, duo and full band. To help bring some awareness to the art scene in the area, she set aside the room normally reserved as the green room as a gallery which was really cool, too. The only disappointing thing to me about these shows was the lack of audience on a couple of the shows. By the 11/19 show, it seemed like word had gotten out about these gigs. But, mid-week shows are always hit-or-miss in Iowa City, even when school is in session.

Pieta is bringing This Land Is Your Music back to the Mill for two shows in December– Saturday 12/4 and Saturday 12/11. The tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door and the proceeds will again be donated to Friends of Hickory Hills and Iowa Public Radio. Doors will be at 7PM Here are the details:

Saturday, December 4. Pieta Brown performs a solo set. Her special guest will be Iowa City trio The Vagabonds. The art in the gallery will be done by Stan Crocker and Sonya Naumann. Sonya Naumann has a really interesting photography project called “Thousand Dollar Dress” that maybe we’ll get to see some of in the gallery.

Saturday, December 11. Pieta Brown & Terraplane headlines. We don’t know exactly who is in the band, but Bo Ramsey lists this show in the tour section of his site. Alexis Stevens will open. The gallery will have works by Jamie Hudrlik (who happens to be the very talented daughter of Iowa City photographer Sandy Dyas who showed photographs last year).

I suspect that Pieta will have some of her wonderful new 180g vinyl pressings of One and All with her, too. (I got my copy this week!).

Click Here for Pieta Brown’s website

Click Here for The Mill Restaurant website.

Click Here to visit midwestix.com to pre-order tickets to This Land Is Your Music II.

Here are my reviews for last year’s shows:  11/5, 11/12, 11/19

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.

Handicapping the Next Dawes Album

Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes
Disclaimer: This blog does not condone the use of the information contained in this obviously well-researched article in wagering or betting– anyway, you’d probably have better odds going to the casino and not waste your hard-earned money betting on the track listing of a Dawes album. COME ON! Jeez.

September 28th, 2010 marked the day that Dawes and its management finally caved in to the demands of the taper who goes mostly by Morst to allow their shows to be uploaded to The Audio Archive at The Internet Archive (archive.org). This was a conversation that started back during the October 2009 Daytrotter.com Barnstormer shows where he taped their stop at Treinen Farm. I also recorded three of the shows that I saw on that mini-tour (Maquoketa, Green Island and West Liberty). I had been meaning to do the final editing of this recording which was done by placing my Tascam DR-07 handheld recorder in slightly precarious locations, but only got around to using some of the audio with a video I shot with my iPhone in Maquoketa.

The creation of the repository of Dawes shows pushed me to go back through my recordings and get them ready for posting, so I put four shows up that I taped– the three from Barnstormer and a show from February at Rock Island Brewing Company.

Since Dawes is still touring in support of their debut album North Hills, it isn’t surprising that these shows tend to focus on songs from that album– the anthemic “When My Time Comes,” the epic jam of “Peace in the Valley,” “Bedside Manner,” “Western Skyline”– all classic songs this early in their career! However, even shows around June 30th– the release date of the CD included songs that didn’t make it to their debut– whether outtakes from it or new songs they were working on.

Looking at the setlists of the growing collection on archive.org, we get a pretty good list of songs that are candidates for the next album, which doesn’t have a release date, yet, but I believe the band is already recording. Here is the list of these songs with links to performances so you can listen to them for yourself.

Note: Since I don’t have any direct confirmation of any of these songs, none of them can be 100% certain.

My Way Back Home06/30/2009, 10/09/09, 10/10/09, 10/11/09, 10/12/0910/24/09 During the Barnstormer shows, Dawes was calling this a “new song.” The song has a subtle build with the really great harmonies at the end and a very powerful lead vocal by Taylor. It looks like they kind of dropped it out of their regular setlists. It does show up on the band’s second Daytrotter session. Since I don’t have a 2010 performance on the LMA, I’m going to say that there is a 25% chance that it makes the next Dawes album.

How Far We’ve Come09/12/2009, 10/09/09, 02/13/10, 02/15/1006/27/10, 07/03/10, 07/04/10 (Early), 07/18/10, 08/09/1005/14/10, 10/24/09, 10/12/09, This song has shown up on more setlists than any other. Has a really great vocal duet between the brothers Goldsmith. Really, this is probably the band’s own theme song (even though “When My Time Comes” is the huge song). This song shows up on the second Daytrotter session. I don’t have any confirmation, but I’d say there is a 98% chance it makes the next Dawes album.

If I Wanted Someone02/13/10, 02/15/10, 05/14/10, 06/27/10 Also announced as a new song this year. This song is kind of the younger brother of “A Man Needs A Maid” by Neil Young and “Breakdown” by Tom Petty. This song is dark and angry and better be on the new album.  My favorite. Check the 6/27 version and the smoking guitar solo! I think there is a 99% chance it makes the next Dawes album.

Time Spent in Los Angeles02/13/10, 02/15/10, 05/14/10 Another song that shows up in 2010. I think this song is related a bit to “Western Skyline” from North Hills. In that song, Taylor follows his heart and a girl to Birmingham only to find out the relationship doesn’t last the move and, we know that he moved back to North Hills.. In “Time Spent in Los Angeles” he says that the time spent in Los Angeles makes him want to wrap the subject of the song in his arms. It’s interesting that on the 2/13 show he follows “Time” with “Western”… What are you telling us Taylor? This song didn’t make the June/July run of shows. I think there is still a good chance this song makes it– I say 85% chance it makes the album.

Fire Away06/27/10, 07/03/10, 07/04/10 (Early), 07/18/10, 08/09/10, New song– shows up for the first time this year. I think that the Jackson Browne-ish feeling of this song and it’s recent inclusion in sets makes this a better than average bet — 95% chance that it makes the next Dawes album.

So Well02/15/10 07/04/10 (Early), 08/09/10, 05/14/10, That February show at RIBCO brought a bunch of new tunes to the table, “So Well” being one of them. The vocal harmonies on this song shows why Dawes is such an incredible live act. The guitar solo in this one has potential to become a show centerpiece like “Piece in the Valley” has become. We got this one in August, so I bet it makes the new album. 99% Chance.

I’ve Got A Feeling (It’s Gonna Be Alright)10/10/09 As much as I love this song, with its one verse, I’m pretty sure that this one wouldn’t translate to a studio album. Maybe a live album… 1% Chance it makes it to the next Dawes album.

All My Failures 10/12/09, This song only shows up once in the LMA. A pretty waltzy song with the line, “I haven’t let my failures get me yet.” This song shows up on the band’s second Daytrotter session, though, which would definitely weigh in its favor (well, which was recorded around the same day as this show). 25% chance it makes it to the next Dawes album.

Moon in the Water02/15/10 This song only shows up once, but the way Taylor talks about it, it must be a song that had been around for a while since he says he doesn’t get to sing it very often because it is one that requires an intimate show. Certainly it works really well as a solo song. But, is it a Dawes song? Maybe not. 20% chance it makes it to the next Dawes.

Well, any way you look at it, Dawes is a band worth betting your next record purchase or live music dollars on. Dawes music isn’t edgy or groundbreaking  but damn, they continually write great timeless songs with hooks that stick around. I’m really looking forward to the next album and what new songs the future tours will bring.