Amanda SchenkThe Sadies have no shortage of experience in the role of backing band, having worked with the likes of Neko Case, Robyn Hitchcock and Jon Langford in addition to carving out their niche with their unique blend of country, rock, punk and psychedelic influences. John Doe has no shortage of experience fronting bands, most famously with Los Angeles punk legends X but also with country outfit The Knitters, to say nothing of his impressive solo career. So that the two parties would opt to work together on a record initiated, as Doe recalls, by “a drunken promise or threat” seems like a match made in country heaven.
Though Country Club, the resultant album, may have been conceived in a rather off the cuff manner, the execution is far from haphazard – quite the contrary, it’s a decidedly smooth and polished effort. The Sadies are as absurdly tight as ever – I think they’re genetically incapable of being sloppy – but stay largely in the background across the collection comprised mainly of old country covers, allowing Doe’s richly weathered voice to take centre stage. Doe and The Sadies favour a casual, back porch vibe on this record, focusing more on croony, country weepers featuring Doe and a variety of lady duet partners, including Kathleen Edwards. Foreknowledge of the tunes isn’t necessary – besides the Sadies original “Before I Wake”, I only recognized Johnny Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone” and the Hag’s “Are The Good Times Really Over For Good” – just an appreciation for the hurtin’ side of country. Anyone looking for raucous, boozed-up jams should keep on walking; everyone else, grab a peer, pull up a stool and sit a spell.
And if you feel so inclined to do just that, Doe and The Sadies will be entertaining guests at the Horseshoe this Thursday night, April 30, and courtesy of Against The Grain and Outside Music, I’ve got a couple prize packs consisting of a pair of passes to the show and a copy of Country Club to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to join The Country Club” in the subject line and your full name and address in the body and get that in to me by 7AM, April 29 (morning deadline what?). And, if you either don’t win, can’t make it or just need more Doe and Sadies in your musical diet, they’ll be doing an in-store at Sonic Boom Thursday evening at 7PM. Anyone who was at their in-store there back in November 2007 knows that the wood-paneled setting is perfect for the Good brothers and that unplugging them makes them no less fearsome a band.
Stream: John Doe & The Sadies / Country Club
MySpace: John Doe & The Sadies
Reuters talks to Steve Earle about his forthcoming Townes Van Zandt tribute record Townes, due out May 12.
Clash interviews Jason Lytle, whose new solo record Yours Truly, The Commuter is out May 19.
Billboard verifies that Wilco will release their new album on June 30. Unconfirmed is that the record, the band’s seventh, will be self-titled. How meta would that be – Wilco the band releases Wilco the album which contains “Wilco The Song”. Update: Rolling Stone confirms: Wilco (The Album) out June 30. Huzzah!
Chairlift has an Interface session with Spinner.
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have released a new video, just in time for their show at Lee’s Palace tonight. There’s interviews with the band at The Ithaca Journal, The Cornell Daily Sun, New Haven Advocate and Hartford Courant.
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Young Adult Friction”
Interview interviews Beach House, who will be part of the Olympic Island concert taking place at the Toronto Islands on July 11.
British Sea Power will release their new album, a soundtrack for the 1933 documentary film Man From Aran, on May 18 and there’s now an MP3 from the soundtrack and a trailer for the film. The band are already at work on their fourth proper studio album – Noble gives NME a progress report.
MP3: British Sea Power – “Come Wander With Me”
Trailer: Man From Aran
Another Dears b-side is up for grabs. They’re at the Mod Club on Thursday evening.
MP3: The Dears – “Crisis 1 and 2″
It’s Metric week at Drowned In Sound, and they lead off their coverage with a track-by-track annotation of Fantasies by Emily Haines and a five-part serialization of the The Rawside Of… docu-feature. One part a day, the first one is here.
Dog Day have rolled out new video to go along with the release of their new album Concentration. They’ve got a date at Lee’s Palace on May 28.
MP3: Dog Day – “Rome”
Video: Dog Day – “Happiness”
Malajube have announced some Canadian dates including a June 12 show at Lee’s Palace.
MP3: Malajube – “Porte Disparu”