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News: April 2011

Keep up on what's happening with the Bloodshot gang!


Due to health concerns, Exene unfortunately will not be able to continue her tour.  All dates from April 4th thru the 18th.

Here is a statement from her:

"as you probably know by now, i was diagnosed with ms. i have been doing relatively well. i thought i could handle sxsw in austin, and a short solo tour. however, i got sick in austin during sx, it is a hard event even under the best of circumstances. it didn't seem that hot to me, but heat is very bad for those of us with ms. i started feeling bad almost as soon as i started playing on wednesday and by sunday night, i had a terrible headache and couldn't get out of bed. i didn't feel any better by wednesday so i called  my neurologist and got a prescription for steroids. i started to improve a little and thought i'd  be okay to start my southwest southeast tour on the following friday. in retrospect, i should have called off the tour then and there. but i didn't want to cancel. kevin seconds, who was on the tour with me, met me in austin, and we played our first show. but i wasn't getting better in knoxville tn, a week later, i was fatigued and having a hard time functioning. when i took the stage that night, i was surprised to discover that my right hand and arm were not responding to my commands, and i couldn't play guitar. i apologized to the audience, talked alot, and sang acapella. because i had driven ten hours from new orleans, i hoped it was just fatigue from gripping the steering wheel so long. but i knew the tour was over. the next morning, after i called my booking agent and gave her the news, i sat down with kevin seconds and explained to him that i was too sick to continue, and would only be going as far as memphis. i apologized. my friend flew into memphis and drove me home, where i am now. i wouldn't have made it as far as i did without the help of my friends and the kindness of fans strangers along the way. i am not an invincible road warrior anymore. the easiest part of touring is the hour on stage. the driving and staying with friends and finding hotels and advancing the shows and hauling around merch and guitars is the hard part. i've never cancelled a tour before but it is more important for me to regain my health than continue. i never know when my ms will strike, and this was certainly bad timing for an attack. my apologies to the clubs, the fans, my label, and mr. seconds for this unfortunate event"

Ha Ha on Huff Po

That's short for Ha Ha Tonka on the Huffington Post.  It's just in this era of Twitter, we can no longer be bothered with full words. KWIM?*

Anyway, here's a lengthy and interesting feature in the Huffington Post on the boys on this, the release day of their latest album.

Find out their appearance on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, Brian's shabby baseball trivia skills and their songwriting processes and thematic influences.  There's also many tales of WILD times on the road featuring an alter ego "Cheesy B."  Look out Motley Crue.

*="Know What I Mean?

Ben Weaver recommendation on MTV

The MTV Hive gave their picks for "great twang* records for the springtime"

Quoth they:

"With temperatures rising across this great land, outdoor activities such as driving with the window down and bocce ball will soon commence once again.  And what goes well with warmth and cold suds? Twang! Here’s five great Americana-tinged records we’re excited to pair with some well-honed sunburns."

Read what they say about Ben's record HERE

*= Rob HATES the word "twang."

BS Record Store Day Events Get Some Press Lovin'

As you may or may not know, April 16th is Record Store Day and we've got a boat load of activities and releases to help celebrate the existence of your local neighborhood purveyors of music.  Support them, dammit!

Anyway,  here's a few things that have popped up this week hyping it.

»A FANTASTIC and lengthy write up on Ben Weaver and his music from Hymie's Records, where Ben is doing an in store performance

»A nice posting from Chicago's own WXRT (who was one of the sponsors of our 15th Anniversary party at the Hideout, and features photos from the party and some video of Alejandro Escovedo

»A write up in Chicago's New City about our Big Star day party

»Saving Country Music's write up on the Justin Townes Earle 7" and the 15th Anniversary Live album, including a chance to hear the album on SCM radio

»An interview in the Onion AV Club with Bloodshot Rob about the day's events and the importance of local shops. Includes a video of Ha Ha Tonka performing and a photo of Rob that looks like it was taken after he woke up from a 2 week nap under a bridge.  Ladies:  try not to swoon, and don't call the office asking for a date---he's left the building to hunt down the editor who picked the photo.

Enjoy the day!


Maggie Bjorklund Video Week!

Starting today, we announce the launch of Maggie Bjorklund Video Roll Week. Involved are five of our favorite publications, coming together to support five new videos from Maggie’s new album—each song with its own unique draw, and each supporting site offering the opportunity for one lucky person to win a copy of Coming Home.

Here’s the gist of it:
Starting on Monday, April 25, Alarm Press will premiere the first video, which is a beautiful hi-def, live performance of “Anchor Song” featuring Maggie, John Convertino of Calexico, Rachel Flotard of Visqueen, Rusty Willoughby, Johnny Sangster, Barrett Martin of Screeming Trees, and Barbara Hunter. Anyone who re-posts, Likes, or comments on the video—via Facebook, Twitter, and on the hosting site itself—will be eligible to win the new album.

Check out the first video of the series for "Anchor Song" over at Alarm Press!

Then, visit our Maggie Video Roll page throughout the week for more premieres!

Ha Ha Tonka nabs NPR's "Song of the Day"

Download the single "Usual Suspects" HERE on NPR's blog "Song of The Day"

They seem to like it:

"In "Usual Suspects," the opening track from Death of a Decade, the Missouri band Ha Ha Tonka busts out of the gates like classic Replacements on an Ozark bender. Premised on a killer riff, a great beat and singer Brian Roberts' throaty roar, Ha Ha Tonka may have created the catchiest mandolin-driven rock song since "Losing My Religion."

"Usual Suspects" reflects the hothouse passions that run deep and familiar to anyone who has ever lived in the close quarters of a small community. Roberts narrates the fraught and indignant emotions of a would-be paramour, faced with competition for his affections from friends and rivals alike: "In this little town, oh, she's such a scandal / Nobody gonna get a handle on her / If you lay it down, oh, it ain't a gamble / It's the surest thing going on around here." Desire, revulsion and obsessive longing — it's love, American style, courtesy of a terrific Missouri band with deep musical roots in its regional traditions."

Maggie B Video Week Wrap Up!

It was a fun, busy week. We gave you SIX different chances to win Maggie Bjorklund's new album "Coming Home" just by taking a look at her six new music videos and liking, re-posting, or commenting on any of them. Simple enough, right?

As participating site My Old Kentucky Blog put it, "Beginning this past Monday, five music blogs formed an unlikely and unholy alliance, the sole purpose of which is to make Maggie Björklund your new favorite pedal steel virtuoso." We like that, the idea of suspending personal agendas to be part of a something fun and singular in its goal - to showcase an artist and her fellow contributing musicians, playing some beautiful music in an intimate setting.

And so with that, we wanted to give you one last chance to catch all the videos in one place and to enter to win, right here. We also wanted to give huge thanks to the six participating sites that premiered Maggie's videos:

Monday – Alarm Press featured "Anchor Song" (featuring Rachel Flotard)
Tuesday - Magnet Magazine featured "Vildspor" (featuring Jon Auer of The Posies)
Wednesday - Uprooted Music Review featured "Insekt"
Thursday - My Old Kentucky Blog featured "Intertwined" (featuring Mark Lanegan) and Country Standard Time featured "Summer Romance" (featuring Rachel Flotard)
Friday - Blurt Magazine featured "Coming Home" (featuring Mark Lanegan)

So please continue to view these videos, pass them around to friends, post them on Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else that it will stick. We hope this week did indeed make Ms. Bjorklund your new favorite pedal steel virtuoso. She's defintiely ours.


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