(Upcoming Release) Chicago R&B Powerhouse The Right Now Return With a Pop Twinkle in Starlight (out 2/24)

Never content with staying in one particular sound, Chicago R&B band The Right Now, has embraced a classic R&B sound over the years, but has also included more updated R&B elements. Even on their debut album Carry Me Home, there were stabs of synths and electronic percussion over the proceedings. Their following 7″ “If I Wanted To“/”I Am Who I Say I Am” we get a gritty and even distortion laden track maybe akin to a more soulful Black Keys. When they returned in 2012 with Gets Over You, most of the tracks had a distinct later-period Motown and Stax bent to them, but outlying track “Call Girl” was straight up late 70’s disco and even got the remix treatment from the Deep and Disco crew.

The Right Now returns in 2017 with a new album Starlight with a renewed sense of direction and passion. While the band still hangs on to the horns and brings the funk, they also are approaching the new album with an “all-killer, no-filler” album with an eye towards a modern R&B sound. CFO (Chief Funk Officer) Brendan O’Connell explains,

“Our goal was to fine-tune the songs and production to make every note count, every chorus big and memorable, and craft something really special,” says keyboardist/guitarist/bandleader Brendan O’Connell. “While I love what we achieved on the last album, I felt it was important to try to transcend the ‘retro soul’ genre and concentrate on writing the best songs I could for (lead singer Stefanie Berecz)’s voice.”

The album is available for pre-order from the band’s website, and includes a limited edition transparent blue vinyl pressing! While you’re there order the last two albums and the 7″es!

Upcoming Release : “Old Punch Card” by Sam Prekop; Sea & Cake Tour Dates

If you’re interested in early information about Thrill Jockey releases you need to look no further than the Thrill Jockey website itself! Last week I was doing some research on a couple of upcoming releases on the label and stumbled upon the upcoming solo release from Sea & Cake frontman Sam Prekop! Titled Old Punch Card it will be an experimental instrumental electronic release. I have confirmed with Thrill Jockey that this will be released on Septemer 7th on vinyl as well as CD and download. Each of the covers for the CD and LP will be individually painted by Sam. The cover art you see above is effectively the canvas. Here are some examples of what the covers will look like:

Sam’s last release in the Fall of 2007 was also a disc of electronic instrumentals. It was bundled with his book of photographs.

Tracklisting for Old Punch Card (from thrilljockey.com)

01 Old Punch Card
02 Array Wicket
03 Knitting Needles
04 Brambles
05 Tell Work
06 November September
07 A Places
08 Lazy House
09 The Silhouettes

Sam’s band The Sea & Cake will also be going on tour around the time of this release in support of Broken Social Scene. I wonder if the Sea & Cake is gearing up for an eventual new record? John McEntire–  who is the drummer for The Sea & Cake– produced Broken Social Scene’s new album Forgiveness Rock Record.

The Sea & Cake Fall Tour Dates in Support of Broken Social Scene (from Thrill Jockey):
Mon Sep 13 Washington, DC – Warner Theatre w/ Broken Social Scene
Tue Sep 14 Philadelphia, PA – Theater of Living Arts w/ Broken Social Scene
Fri Sep 17 Boston, MA – House of Blues w/ Broken Social Scene
Sat Sep 18 New York, NY – Rumsey Playfield w/ Broken Social Scene
Mon Sep 20 New Haven, CT – Toads Place w/ Broken Social Scene
Tue Sep 21 Northampton, MA – Calvin Theatre w/ Broken Social Scene
Wed Sep 22 South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground w/ Broken Social Scene
Fri Sep 24 Ithaca, NY – Historic Ithaca State Theatre w/ Broken Social Scene
Sat Sep 25 Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom w/ Broken Social Scene
Sun Oct 3 Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theatre w/ Broken Social Scene
Mon Oct 4 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue w/ Broken Social Scene
Wed Oct 6 Winnipeg, MB – Burton Cummings Theatre w/ Broken Social Scene
Thu Oct 7 Saskatoon, SK – The Odeon Events Centre w/ Broken Social Scene
Fri Oct 8 Calgary, AB – Macewan Hall w/ Broken Social Scene
Sat Oct 9 Edmonton, AB – Winspear Centre w/ Broken Social Scene
Sun Oct 10 Kelowna, BC – Kelowna Community Theatre w/ Broken Social Scene
Tue Oct 12 Victoria, BC – Element Nightclub w/ Broken Social Scene
Wed Oct 13 Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom w/ Broken Social Scene
Thu Oct 14 Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom w/ Broken Social Scene
Fri Oct 15 Seattle, WA – Paramount Ballroom w/ Broken Social Scene
Sat Oct 16 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom w/ Broken Social Scene
Tue Oct 19 Los Angeles, CA – Wiltern Theatre w/ Broken Social Scene

Click Here to visit the Thrill Jockey page on Old Punch Card which will be updated with streaming tracks and pre-order information closer to the release date.

Upcoming Show: Mark Olson & Gary Louris at CSPS in Cedar Rapids 2/19/09

Mark Olson & Gary Louris by Steven Cohen Photography

Mark Olson & Gary Louris by Steven Cohen Photography

Ready for the Flood, the new album from former Jayhawks members Mark Olson and Gary Louris is due for release on January 27th according to Amazon.com and other sources. Ready for the Flood was originally supposed to be released on September 15th on Olson’s home label Hacktone but was moved to New West Records, current home of John Hiatt, The Old 97’s and The Drive By Truckers and other artists who compliment Olson and Louris’s country-influenced sound.

Ready for the Flood was recorded in January with production help from Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes, who also worked on Louris’s brilliant solo album Vagabonds. Since both Louris and Olson had solo records released last year that still needed to be promoted and toured, they decided to delay the release until late this year, and now the release is moved to January with the label switch.

Shortly on the heels of Flood’s release Olson and Louris will kick off a tour during February in support of the album hitting small venues across the nation, wrapping up at a hometown show in Minneapolis at the Varsity Theatre. If any of the torrents of the live shows in Europe are any indication, these shows will be a Jayhawks fan’s dream pulling songs from the new album and songs from the Jayhawks catalog in an intimate stripped-down acoustic set.

Olson and Louris will be playing the (sadly) best-kept secret venue of Cedar Rapids, CSPS on February 19th. Mark Olson played a well-received show there in February this year– in fact it will be almost a year to the date! Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 the day of the show.

Feb 3 2009 7:00P
The Ark Ann Arbor, Michigan
Feb 4 2009 7:00P
The Mod Club Toronto, Ontario
Feb 6 2009 7:00P
Somerville Theater Somerville, Massachusetts
Feb 7 2009 7:00P
Zankel Hall @ Carnegie Hall New York, New York
Feb 9 2009 7:00P
Sellersville Theater Sellersville, Pennsylvania
Feb 10 2009 7:00P
Birchmere Alexandria, Virginia
Feb 11 2009 7:00P
The Arts Center Carrboro, North Carolina
Feb 13 2009 7:00P
Eddie’s Attic Atlanta, Georgia
Feb 14 2009 7:00P
Exit/In Nashville, Tennessee
Feb 15 2009 7:00P
Phoenix Hill Tavern Louisville, Kentucky
Feb 17 2009 7:00P
Blueberry Hill St. Louis, Missouri
Feb 18 2009 7:00P
Mojo’s Columbia, Missouri
Feb 19 2009 7:00P
CSPS Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Feb 20 2009 7:00P
Park West Chicago, Illinois
Feb 21 2009 7:00P
Varsity Theater Minneapolis, Minnesot

Click Here to visit the MySpace page for Ready for the Flood with song samples

Click Here to visit the Facebook Event I created.

Free Download : Break Up The Concrete by The Pretenders

As reported by Billboard yesterday, Chrissy Hynde and company, aka The Pretenders have a new album titled Break Up The Concrete which will be released 10/7 on her new label Shangri-La Music. The album was recorded in 10 days with a mostly-new version of the Pretenders. In addition to original Pretenders bass player Nick Wilkinson, she added James Walbourne and Eric Heywood on guitars and notorious session drummer Jim Keltner. Coincidentally, this week I was just listening to super-group Little Village from 1992 that had Keltner on skins!

The first track “Boots of Chinese Plastic” a rollicking roots-rock twang-fest is available for free download from AOL.com’s Spinner.com site via the Pretenders site.

Visit the Pretenders site and sign up for e-mail notifications because the plan is to release one track per week leading up to October 7th from Concrete as mp3’s through other website partners including QuickTime, clearchannel.com, cmt.com, ilike, imeem, mp3.com and others. The track available today is a surprising 320Kbps mp3! I hope that the rest of the tracks will be of the same quality! I can’t find a track listing for the new album anywhere. Based on the 1-track-per-week, I guess there will be 10 tracks.

Here is the tracklisting (Thanks to user Mark666!):

01 Boots of Chinese Plastic (download from Spinner.com)
02 The Nothing Maker (download from iLike)
03 Don’t Lose Faith in Me (download from C|Net download.com)
04 Don’t Cut your Hair (download from imeem.com)
05 Loves A Mystery (download from CMT.com)
06 The Last Ride (download from WindowsMedia.com)
07 Almost Perfect (download from Yahoo! Music)
08 You Didn’t Have To (download from iheartmusic.com)
09 Rosalee (download from VH1.com)
10 Break Up The Concrete (download from thepretenders.com GarageBand Contest Page) – fill out your info in upper right area of the page which will bring you to a page to download.
11 One Thing Never Changed