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Saturday, May 6th, 2006

And The Horse They Rode In On

Soul Asylum and I have a bit of history. During their 15 minutes of mainstream fame in the early 90s, I had my high school band cover “Runaway Train” because I thought it’d get us girls. It didn’t. Neither did being in a band at all, come to think of it. I would have rather done “Somebody To Shove” but that opening riff was way too hard for my amateur fingers.

Anyway. I had Grave Dancers Union, of course, and I think I liked it a lot. That sort of melodic alt.rock with a folkish undercurrent was – and still is, to some extent – my thing. I was probably a little too cool for Soul Asylum by the time Let Your Dim Light Shine came out, but recall filing the singles under guilty pleasures whenever I caught them on MuchMusic, or at least the one with Claire Danes… But anyway, Soul Asylum and I parted ways – Dan Murphy stayed on my radar via Golden Smog but the band, after releasing the barely-there Candy From A Stranger in ’98 quietly went away.

But like so many acts from their era, they got the reunion bug a few years ago and started work on a new record – sadly, bassist Karl Mueller was diagnosed with cancer and though benefits ensued, even managing to reunite Bob Mould and Grant Hart of Husker Du for a split-second, he succumbed to his illness in June of last year. But before he passed on, he finished work on the new Soul Asylum record, The Silver Lining, which will be released July 11. Dan Murphy talked to Billboard a bit about the new album.

The first single is “Stand Up And Be Strong”, which while not a classic by any stretch is a decent enough comeback tune for a band that’s been out of the game for a while. There’s some more clips from the new album on their MySpace page and also on their website. You’ll also find some Summer tour dates for the band there.

MP3: Soul Asylum – “Stand Up And Be Strong”

Ironically, Soul Asylum’s return is being overshadowed by that of the Minneapolis band that once called them “the B-teamers” – The Replacements. As reported previously, the band reconvened to record two new tracks for their Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was? best-of, due out June 13. All remaining original members were on board, though for some reason hired gun Josh Freese handled drums and original drummer Chris Mars only contributed vocals? Either way, I Am Fuel, You Are Friends has a radio rip of one of the tracks – “Message From The Boys” – available to download. It’s a satisfyingly raucous tune very much in the spirit of Tim or Pleased To Meet Me – certainly better than anyone probably had a right to expect. Pitchfork is similarly impressed. The songs were intended to premiere on sports radio dude Jim Rome’s show (he’s apparently a big ‘Mats fan) but for whatever reason, Westerberg didn’t show up leaving Tommy Stinson (who, coincidentally, is Soul Asylum’s new bassist) to handle all the PR duties. Rome wasn’t impressed and The Pioneer Press’ blogs have some coverage of the fallout from that.

The Stranger tries to be a little less of a stranger to Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers. The Canadian release of their new one, A Blessing And A Curse, has inexplicably been delayed more than a month from the US release and will be out here on May 23.

Jordan of Said The Gramophone talks to Joey of Calexico for Ukula.

And if you really needed another reason to hit up Sneaky Dee’s tonight for Asobi Seksu, Catfish Haven and PAS/CAL, I’ll give you three more: Betty Marie Barnes. According to PAS/CAL’s website, the former(?) Saturday Looks Good To Me singer will be joining PAS/CAL on backing vocal duties for their quick-like-bunny Canadian tour which finishes with tonight’s Over The Top show. This isn’t the first time Barnes has played with the PAS/CAL folks – last year ago they recorded a cover of Blondie’s “Call Me” for kicks (via The Modern Age).

MP3: PanicBettyBurgandy – “Call Me”

Amy Millan explains Honey From The Tombs to Chart.

My photos from Thursday night’s Concretes show are now up.

np – Grizzly Bear / Sorry For The Delay

By : Frank Yang at 9:32 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. suckingalemon says:

    do not forget, after asobi seksu, the band awesome color is playing a set at 1 am.

    cheers

  2. Eric Grubbs says:

    I heard somewhere that Chris Mars hasn’t played drums in years, so that’s why Josh Freese is drumming.

  3. progosk says:

    just some lekman news you might like: mathieu saura (aka vincent moon), the guy who shot those beautiful videos for the national, has a new initiative on his <a href="http://www.blogotheque.net/">blogoth√®que</a>: take-out concerts (<a href="http://blogotheque.podemus….">les concerts √® emporter</a>). basically he dogma-shoots single songs performed by artists in non-concert locations. first up were the spinto band, and today’s episodes 2.1 and 2.3 feature lekman’s "happy birthday, sweet lisa" and "f word". the podcast feed link is <a href="http://blogotheque.podemus….">here</a>.

  4. progosk says:

    oops, sorry for the html…

  5. Chris says:

    Candy From a Stranger was a criminally underrated album. Pirner & Murphy did a great solo show at the Horseshoe to promo it but the band never came back.

    My Little Problem is one of the bed tracks on Rome’s show.

  6. Karl says:

    Before the band’s 15 minutes of fame, I shared a moment onstage with Soul Asylum, after Pirner decided to give away a free beer to the first person in the audience to name the artist who did the original of the next song they palyed. The song was "Chevy Van," by Sammy Johns, which earned me a Michelob. Pirner played game host awhile. He was quite happy that I was a Karl with a "K." And taken aback when he learned I was reviewing the show for the college newspaper (it was a shocking lack of journalistic ethics on my part, I know).

    They were also great opening for the Huskers on the Flip Your Wig tour, because both bands took the stage for an encore of the MC5’s "Ramblin Rose," followed by "Helter Skelter" and "Love Is All Around" — the theme from the Mary Tyler Moore Show (and unofficial anthem of Minneapolis). I lost some hearing pemanently that night, but it was worth it.

  7. heather says:

    hey, thanks for the link! I, too, love that new Replacements song, it’s been on heavy rotation all weekend…

  8. Glenn says:

    That Soul Asylum song is pretty good. They played some new songs at their show at the Bowery last year. Don’t recall this one, but they all came off really well.

    One in particular stood out. I think it’s called "Bring ‘Em Home" or something like that. A war song. Not anti-war, but a war song (from what I could tell). It blew me away. Upbeat, instantly memorable, with that Midwest heartfelt quality that defines a lot of their music. Can’t wait to hear that song again.

  9. jspaceman says:

    Sounds like typical Soul Asylum- which isn’t a bad thing.

    I also dug the tune they were playing live recently- I think it was "Lately."