Friday, June 15th, 2007
“There are no plans what-so-ever to record another Mojave 3 record” – dire words and a damned strange way to start a press release, especially one most logically targeted at fans of the band that it’s purporting to be burying. The band in question is The Loose Salute, the occasion is the release of their debut album Tuned To Love this past Tuesday and the common thread is Ian McCutcheon, drummer for M3 and frontman for the Loose Salute, and the man to whom the above quote is attributed.
It was well known even while M3 were supporting last year’s Puzzles Like You that the band would be taking a break – bassist/vocalist Rachel Goswell was/is still recovering from health concerns and was unable to tour and support the record, frontman Neil Halstead already had plans for a second solo record and wheels were rolling on The Loose Salute – the closing track on Puzzles, “The Mutineer”, was sung by McCutcheon and also appears on Tuned. No one expected them to head right back into the studio and turn out another record, and so McCutcheon’s statement is probably technically correct. But the way it’s phrased and presented, as though the band is dead, is probably a bit sensationalistic and designed to grab attention… like this post. Ahem. Anyways, to my knowledge (and I asked), they’ve not notified 4AD of any sort of dissolution so I will simply interpret this as a break – a temporary one – while they tend to other things and fully expect one of my favourite bands to return with another wonderful record… eventually.
But since I’ve taken the bait, let’s talk Loose Salute. As “The Mutineer” proved, McCutcheon has a fine voice not worlds removed from Halstead’s – soft and breathy and not really what you’d expect from someone who’s as much a monster on the drumkit as he. And similarly, the band’s sound isn’t far off from his day job’s – this is not McCutcheon exorcising his death metal joneses. Instead, their sunny, Californian boy-girl vocals pop is like the cover art for Out Of Tune committed to tape – in fact, what I’ve heard sounds an awful lot like Out Of Tune, period, though lighter and breezier. It’s all quite pretty and while McCutcheon isn’t a songwriter of Halstead’s calibre, he does quite well for himself here. But treading so closely to where his other band has already gone, comparing the two is inevitable and maybe it’s just my own, obvious bias but given the choice, I’ll take Mojave 3 every day.
MP3: The Loose Salute – “The Mutineer”
MP3: The Loose Salute – “Turn The Radio Up”
MP3: The Loose Salute – “Death Club”
Video: The Loose Salute – “The Mutineer” (YouTube)
Video: The Loose Salute – “Turn The Radio Up” (YouTube)
eCard: The Loose Salute / Tuned To Love
MySpace: The Loose Salute
Exciting new session at Daytrotter – a Mountain Goats session recorded at SxSW consisting of two new originals, an old cowboy song and one Peter Tosh cover which, sadly, you can’t download anymore because of royalty issues.
Richard Thompson’s latest album Sweet Warrior was released at the end of May and from all accounts, his first fully electrified record since 2003 is a sparkling highlight of a long, sparkly career. I must seek out a copy. He’s been doing the interview circuit, talking to The AV Club, Kentucky.com, The Denver Post, Cleveland Free Times and Ents24.
Wilco are all about the streaming concerts – tonight’s show in Indianapolis will be streaming off their website starting with Low at 8PM EDT and then Wilco at 9:15. They’re even including the opening set. How cool is that? Their Sunday night set at Bonnaroo will also be streaming at the AT&T’s Blue Room – they’re on at 5:30 CDT.
Chris Garneau is at Sneaky Dee’s next week on June 20 for a free show. I haven’t given his record Music For Tourists the attention I’d have liked but what I’ve heard is intriguing. I will dig it out and give a listen before next Wednesday, maybe check it out. If you’re curious, there’s this one track to download, more at his MySpace and this Takeaway Show with a rather lovely Elliott Smith cover. Actually you know what? Reading reviews like this one, I think I kinda have to go to this show. Done and done.
Bill “don’t call me Smog” Callahan is in town September 11 for a show at the Music Gallery.
Devandra Banhart returns to Toronto on September 21 for a show at the Danforth Music Hall in support of his forthcoming nameless, release date-less record. Pitchfork has some info on the record from Banhart himself and also confirms he’s still batshit crazy. Tickets for the show are $32.50 and go on sale next week.
And also note that the Lemonheads show originally scheduled for July 20 at Lee’s Palace has been moved to July 24 – refunds are available if you need them. The band is also still scheduled for a free show at the Berkeley Church on June 21 (email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Lemonheads” in the subject line to get in). Of course, the official Lemonheads tour itinerary has them in Albany that night, but I’m sure it’s all worked out. After all, Evan Dando seems like a bright, responsible young man with a good head on his shoulders.