Friday, January 18th, 2008
So if you ever wondered what this blog would look like if I stopped going to so many shows and wasn’t actively digging around for new music… well this is approximately it. But I’m starting to get back into new stuff and, hopefully, will have something remotely insightful to offer on some of it before long and the concert calendar will no doubt start filling up as well. So in the meantime, let me keep it in low gear. It won’t last.
And with that, we begin the mighty beard portion of the post.
After a season of upheaval, the Drive-By Truckers return next Tuesday with Brighter Than Creation’s Dark which proves by clocking in at 19 tracks and 75 minutes that, if nothing else, the departure of Jason Isbell hasn’t left the band wanting for material. You can currently stream the album in its whole at CMT.com (yes, that stands for what you think it does), sample just a handful of songs at the band’s MySpace or save one of them to your hard drive to what you will with. AllMusic talked to head Trucker Patterson Hood about the new record, their signature artwork and how it feels having a band now into its second decade of life while An Aquarium Drunkard gets Hood to list off his eleven favourite things about Athens, Georgia. The Truckers are in town at the Opera House on March 19.
The Post & Courier offers up an interview with Band Of Horse-man Ben Bridwell containing reminiscences of Charleston and liberal use of the #$%@*-bomb. The Boston Globe also talks to Bridwell. Don’t think I’ve linked the first video from Cease To Begin, so I’ll do that. The new record is pretty and all but has thus far left me curiously indifferent. Perhaps that’ll change with further listens, though I’ll have to remind myself to do so.
Also (relatively) new in the SubPop media vaults – some new AV from Iron & Wine and The Shepherd’s Dog. And The Age has an interview with Sam Beam about, well, basically the entire history of Iron & Wine.
If you lived through the grunge boom and bust of the ’90s – and even if you didn’t – the pedigree of The Gutter Twins should make you sit up and take notice. It’s the new project featuring Greg Dulli (The Afghan Whigs, The Twilight Singers) and Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens Of The Stone Age) so if you like your rock dark, intense and whiskey-soaked, their debut album Saturnalia (out March 4) should be the answer to your prayers. You can sample a bit of the record at their MySpace and the duo are embarking on a fairly extensive tour in a couple months that includes a stop at the Mod Club in Toronto on March 14th.
Paste reports that Great Lake Swimmer Tony Dekker contributed the score to Song Sung Blue. a documentary film premiering at Sundance next week that follows a husband-and-wife Neil Diamond tribute act. Dekker has also recorded a cover of the titular song that will play over the closing credits.
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band has two dates scheduled on June 7 and 8 at Lee’s Palace in support of their new album 13 Blues For Thirteen Moons, out March 25.
And finally, congratulations to The Mohawk – unofficial Hot Freaks HQ in Austin, Texas – for being named “Best Bar In America” by Esquire. And speaking of things both Hot and Freaky, we be cooking up some good (musical) eats for 2008. Just wait.