To add to the things we’re thankful for this year, The Pines are making a return to CSPS Thanksgiving Weekend! The combination of the soft atmospheric folk of this band and the passionate, attentive crowds and the huge ambience of the room (and frankly, well stocked selection of handcrafted beers and local wines) always makes for a memorable not-to-miss show.
Above The Prairie includes help from the extended Ramsey and Brown families with contributions from Greg Brown, Iris DeMent, Pieta Brown and Bo Ramsey, who also co-produced the album with The Pines. The first listen we’re getting from the new album is “Aerial Ocean” with Benson Ramsey on lead vocals, it has all of the trademark nuances of The Pines– the chimey clean picking, the washes of synths, but owes a lot to classic Dire Straits. But, they always kind of had that same vibe as mellow Mark Knopfler as well as JJ Cale.
So, grab a quick sandwich of leftover turkey and dressing on your way out the door to CSPS Saturday night to see The Pines. I can’t think of a better way to cap off the weekend.
Sat Nov 28 2015 – 8:00 pm • CSPS Hall
$16 advance | $19 door
Above The Prairie tracklist:
There in Spirit
Hanging From the Earth
Where Something Wild Still Grows
Come What Is
Time Dreams feat. John Trudell & Quiltman
Lissie has been playing a few new songs on her fall tour dates which come from her upcoming album My Wild West, which she announced today will be out on 2/12/2016. She’s already put a number of pre-order packages up on her online store which include orange vinyl, CD, a signed poster or a teeshirt and combinations of these. My Wild West represents the first full-length release on Lissie’s own Lionboy imprint which was also the home for her last EP of covers Cryin’ To You. The last couple of shows that I caught she was reenforcing the point that she is completely independent now, and really if anyone can pull this off with her collected base of fans worldwide, she should.
As part of the announcement today, she debuted a video for a new song from My Wild West, “Hero.” I had already heard two songs during the fall tour– one called “Ojai” which is the farewell song to her former home. She’s moving to NE Iowa! The other song is “Sun Keeps Rising” which is a tribute to her late aunt and is a gorgeous song I can’t wait to hear fleshed out on the album.
The video for “Hero” is pretty fun– made from footage shot by the filmmaker back in 1983! If you pre-order the new album, you get this song as a digital download.
For the uninitiated, RAGBRAI is the “Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa.” Each year thousands of bicycle riders take a week at the end of July and ride across Iowa. This has been going on for 42 years in 2015. From Lissie’s website:
I’ve always wanted to do (RAGBRAI), so I will be doing the ride in the middle of the tour. Having grown up just across the river in Illinois, Iowa is a gorgeous state that I love! So to make it a reality I’ll be going back to my roots in more ways than one. I started in music playing acoustic guitar and singing from the heart, so it’s only fitting that I sing my way back to the heartland solo! I hope that you can all join me at a show leading up to, on the ride or at one of the gigs after.
So, she’s doing a run of dates with Tyler Lyle leading up to and following RAGBRAI. What we don’t know is if she might be busting out her guitar on the ride! Even if she doesn’t, these shows promise to be really special and intimate affairs.
Along with this announcement, she teased a new song titled “Sun Keeps Risin'” which is slated for her new album which is slated for January of 2016.
Here are the dates of the solo tour with links to where to get tickets.
Today it was announced that Garbageis back in the studio in L.A. after a seven-year hiatus following their 2005 studio album Bleed Like Me, which was their highest-charting album at #4 on Billboard Top 200 Album chart. As-yet-untitled, the album is projected to release in Spring 2012, and the band posted earlier that there should be a song coming out in October.
They’ve been in the studio all summer in L.A. recording in a basement, and apparently at the infamous Western Recorders (now called EastWest Studios). The progress of the sessions has been tracked on the band’s official Twitter and Facebook pages along with photos and small video clips, and the little bits we hear seem to point to the trademark bombastic, distorted and compressed sound Garbage is known for and Shirley Manson seems as gothic as ever.
They posted a picture of themselves recording in Studio 3, which is where the Mamas and the Papas recorded “California Dreaming.” A bit of a scenery change for the band who had recorded at drummer Butch Vig’s now-defunct Smart Studios in Madison, WI for their previous albums. Smart was the landmark of recording during the grunge period when Vig worked with bands such as Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, so it’s a little sad in light of the anniversary of Nevermind (which was demoed there) that Garbage isn’t continuing their tradition of recording there.
Apparently they are free-agents from a label perspective. From the press release: “Now free of all their corporate obligations, the band has been able to start again with a clean slate on their own terms. They add, ‘We are making a record filled with the music we love to hear. The new songs have been inspired more by what we haven’t been hearing rather than by what we have.'” It does seem that the band is coming into the record refreshed and taking a new-world-view of things. Considering that the first part of their career represents “big label” times it will be interesting to see how they embrace the new modes of distribution and promotion.
I still remember the first time I heard Garbage on the radio in Minneapolis on the late, great REV105. It was late one night and the lady DJ who spun the record– literally, it was a 7″ in a metal tin, likely the Discordant import– talked about the connection with Butch Vig and Duke Erikson and their 90’s band Fire Town (and Spooner before that). The aggressive and angry single “Vow” was earthshattering to me– I hadn’t heard anything like it with a woman lead singer. I kept my eyes peeled on AOL (pre-internet days for me) for any kind of sign that the promised album would drop. I picked up the domestic version of the CD single on Almo Sounds.
When the CD finally came out, it included an e-mail address for the band and I shot a quick note over about how much I loved the record and that I had seen Fire Town perform at Loras College in Dubuque in the 90’s and that I was a fan of their jangle-pop record In the Heart of the Heart CountryRock Music CDs) (which I have on cassette, and has apparently been reissued). To my delight, I got a reply back from Garbage guitarist/keyboardist Steve Marker, who was the sound engineer for Fire Town. He said that he remembered that particular gig, even though it was a long time ago– he had been running sound that night.
Thus, for some of us, Garbage is the “home team” coming from Madison, WI and showing what the Middle West of the US could do. I hope they play a hometown gig as part of their comeback– I know I’ll be there!
It seems like forever since the sophomore Grace Potter & The Nocturnals album This is Somewhere came out. In fact, in Internet and music blog years, August 2007 was forever ago! In my review of This is Somewhere, I observe that Grace Potter and her band were, “an earthy, honest, and grounded band excited for this opportunity to take their careers to the next level.”
In the over two years since the release of Somewhere, a lot has transpired for the band. They have been touring pretty much non-stop in supporting and headlining roles. They endured the replacement of original Nocturnal bass player Bryan Dondero with original Cardinals bass player Catherine Popper. They gained rhythm guitarist Benny Yurco as well. They’ve been in a bunch of live TV appearances and has played most of the big summer festivals over the years. They did a Daytrotter.com session and an iTunes EP of live tunes.
It’s clear that with all of this exposure and hard work the band has made it to that next level in my opinion. The band has a winning formula: hot lead singer with even hotter vocals as well as guitar and keyboard chops, a road-seasoned backing band and a strong sense of identity as a band.
On June 8th, Hollywood Records is releasing Grace Potter & The Nocturnals. The cover art above is a slightly retro take of the band with a brightly lit Grace taken by photographer Adrien Broom. Adrien toured with Grace Potter and has a very cool album of shots he took of the band. The album is produced by Mark Batson who also co-wrote six of the thirteen tracks with Grace Potter. Batson’s résumé includes work with Dr. Dre, Eminem, Jay-Z as well as Dave Matthews, so clearly the band (and label) is bringing in a big gun producer– an investment for the success of the album for certain. Part of the delay of this album was due to scrapping work that had started with T-Bone Burnett in May of 2009.
Track Listing for Grace Potter & The Nocturnals with Archive.org links to recent live performances of the songs (build your own!)
Grace does her best Grace Slick in this video of their cover of the Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” which is included in the soundtrack to Almost Alice which is a companion piece to the Danny Elfman score to the movie.
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals are going on tour, with a stop at the legendary Antone’s in Austin for SXSW.
March 11 North Adams, MA Mass MoCa
March 12 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse
March 13 Sugarloaf, ME Sugarloaf Ski Resort
March 18 Austin, TX Antone’s – SXSW
March 21 Aspen, CO Snowmass Mountain
March 27 Jackson Hole, WY Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
April 25 Phoenix, AZ McDowell Mountain Music Festival
May 14 Richmond, VA Browns Island
Click Here to visit the Grace Potter & the Nocturnals Website
As we reported back in January, Bloomington, IL bar-rockers Backyard Tire Fire went into the studio with producer/member of Los Lobos Steve Berlin. The band announces that the new album will be called Good to Be and will be released on February 16th, 2010 on the band’s own record label Kelsey Street Records, and will be distributed by Thirty Tigers/SonyRed.
The band has put two songs from Good to Be up on their MySpace Page. The title track “Good to Be” I’ve heard performed live already and has the trademark Tire Fire sound. The other track is “Food For Thought” which showed up in their Daytrotter.com session. It is one of my favorite songs from that session. My first impression of the tracks is that Berlin didn’t really mess too much with the band’s sound, but I think I’m noticing some new reverbby guitar sounds that I don’t think existed on the other records.
Backyard Tire Fire released their last record The Places We Lived on vinyl– they have been very upfront about their desire to keep the recordings very analog. I’m hoping they continue the tradition with a vinyl release of Good to Be, too.
Iowa City-expats and current Fort Collins, CO residents Euforquestra have a new album titled Soup coming out on October 6th. The band is offering up the title track for free download.
As if that wasn’t enough– as a motivator to get people to “fan” them on Facebook, the band planned to give a free download of Soup on October 6th if they achieved 3,000 fans by October 1st. Looking at their fan page they seemed to have accomplished that at 3,427 fans at 11:30 AM today!
The band also posted a download of their 7-18-09 Camp Euforia set which had their BFF’s Public Property on stage with them. The show was taped by Ryan Sibert and it sounds amazing! The first seven songs are Euforquestra and the rest of the set excluding the encore has the band joined by Public Property on stage calling the amalgam “Public Porquestra.”
If you pre-order Soup online, you can get two unreleased bonus tracks: “Ochun (Dub Remix)” – mixed by Sir Mel F. Lewis, and “The Events of December 11” – Live in Lone Tree, IA – April 25, 2009.
According to the Press Release the first single will be “Turn On, Tune In Drop Out With Me” which will be added to whatever radio plays Cracker on April 7th. “Turn On” has been getting a workout on the road lately, and it is a pretty spirited rocker like the other tracks seem to be on the record, which was produced by one-time Sugar member David Barbe, which seems like a copasetic partnership. Other noted musicians joined the fold for Sunrise. In addition to Barbe’s production, Patterson Hood from Drive-By Truckers (who was also produced by Barbe) lends a hand on long-time live favorite “Friends” as well as Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows on “Darling One” and John Doe from X on “We All Shine A Light.”
Here is the tracklisting with links to archive.org when a song has been played:
On December 7th, the notorious duo of Wendy & Lisa self-released the digital version of their latest album White Flags of Winter Chimneys. In the ten years since their prior effort Girl Bros., the two have busied themselves with a bunch of production, side work and notable soundtrack work like NBC’s “Heroes” and HBO’s “Carnivale.”
From now until March 2009 Wendy & Lisa’s website has an exclusive digital download of the new album in various formats. After that it will be available via your favorite digital outlets like iTunes, Amazon and Rhapsody.
The reason you should order it now is that you have more options for how you want to receive the album. For $9.99 you can get a 320 Kbps mp3 download of the album with digital artwork and bonus tracks. The highest bitrates you’d be able to get from iTunes, Amazon and Rhapsody is a respectable 256Kbps. You also have the option of getting the album delivered in lossless FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Compression) format if you don’t want compression for $9.99 as well. This is a deal since a lot of places that provide lossless downloads charge a couple of bucks more for it. This download has five bonus tracks, too. One is a home demo of the sweeping “Niagra Falls” track from White Flags. The other four tracks are home demos from the 1990’s.
As if that wasn’t enough, you can also order the CD version for $12.99 (+ $3.00 shipping) which you can choose to get 320Kbps mp3’s or FLAC. The CD comes in a 6-panel Digipack.
For the audiophile fans or collectors of Wendy & Lisa there is a Deluxe package which gives you an 180g vinyl pressing of White Flags done in nifty splatter-blue vinyl plus you get the CD and your choice of 320Kbps or FLAC download! All for $39.99 (+$10.00 shipping).
Whew! It’s pretty obvious that Wendy & Lisa have been paying attention. They are self-releasing this album and providing tiered options for people to purchase. Frankly, the pricing is about right as well. This approach seems to cover the interest of any fan from casual to collector.
The digital downloads are available right now for any of the purchases and the CD’s and Deluxe packages will ship in March.
The album on my first listen seems to remind me of an updated shoegazer sound of bands like My Bloody Valentine or some of my favorite 4AD bands like the Pale Saints or Lush. Lots of layered sounds and a wide-range of dynamics. At times it reminds me of David Sylvian or maybe Radiohead. Certainly not the sound of the artists who worked with Prince during the 80’s– but a very current sound. Admittedly, I hadn’t been following Wendy & Lisa’s career closely since they left the Revolution, but I plan to do some more listening to this album and try to go back an catch up with where they’ve been.
Click Here to visit Wendy & Lisa’s website where you can order White Flags of Winter Chimneys. They are also streaming other tracks from the album in an embedded player.
Click Here to read my interview with Wendy & Lisa.
I apologize for the headline on this. It gets tricky to come up with better headlines than “New album.” Cracker announced today via their website and Facebook that their new album to be called Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey will be released in May of this year, which likely means that the building list of tour dates are gearing up for an album tour! It will be cool to hear new songs from Cracker.
Additionally, Cracker has posted a video for a new track from Sunrise called “Hand Me My Inhaler” which is a short and punky affair, and showcases the fancy guitarwork of Mr. Johnny Hickman.
Click Here to see if Cracker is coming to a stage near you!