If you're in the DC area, c'mon out to a staged reading of a new play featuring the music of Jon Langford
Nero/Pseudo is a mash up of ancient Rome and glam rock that features music by punk/alternative country legend Jon Langford (Mekons, Waco Brothers) and acclaimed songwriter/guitarist Jim Elkington (Jon Langford's Skull Orchard,The Zincs, The Horse's Ha).
Langford and Elkingtom will be playing the music at the May 30 staged reading.
The reading is on Wednesday, May 30 at 8 p.m. at Artisphere's Dome Theatre (1101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington VA 22209
Nero/Pseudo: A Synopsis
A naked fake emperor. Glam rock. A head in a box. That's Nero/Pseudo -- a new play by Richard Byrne.
Nero/Pseudo takes its inspiration from a passage in Tacitus' Histories, in which a man with an uncanny physical resemblance to the emperor Nero (and skill in playing the lyre) took Greece by storm a few months after the real Nero's suicide in 69 AD. Not only did the fake Nero cause mass tumult before he was captured and executed -- but the notion that Nero might actually return to rule again was fuel for apocalyptic writers in Jewish and Christian sects of that era (including The Book of Revelation).
But Nero/Pseudo isn't a period piece. Byrne mashes up classical literature with glam rock, political cults of celebrity, a healthy dollop of sex and a newly-imagined version of Nero's famous poem on the Fall of Troy. All but three lines of the original Nero poem have been lost, so the playwright's new version casts as much an eye on contemporary politics as it does on Trojans and Greeks.
Read about the collaboration in the Washington City Paper HERE.
HERE'S a sneak peek to one of the tracks
Late in 2011, hometown heroes Wilco decided to celebrate the release of its latest album, The Whole Love, by setting up a Chicago residency and playing shows at several of our fair city's lauded music venues. Jon Langford's Skull Orchard was handpicked to open up the Wilco show at The Vic, where he and the band played songs from the 2011 SO mega-reissue, Skull Orchard Revisited. Check out the rest of the pics from the night by Zero Studio here.
Today, January 20th, in 1978, the Mekons released their first single "Never Been In A Riot" on the indie Fast Records.
That first incarnation of the The Mekons consisted of Kevin Lycette and Tom Greenhalgh on guitar, Jon Langford on drums, Mary on bass and Mark White and Andrew Corrigan sharing vocals.
It was described in NME as "making the Sex Pistols look like Paper Lace.'"
So, in honor of this day in music history, we're offering up ANY Waco Brothers or Jon Langford CD on a buy one get one free basis. Order any of these fine albums, and then write in the comments section of the order form which freebie you'd like!
Act fast, this is for today only (I'll take down the offer whenever I wake up tomorrow morning, so as to give all you folks in UK and Australia who are already asleep a chance to act on this.)
And keep in mind, this is for CDS ONLY (no books, or LPs)
It is full of the self-deprecating bon mots you have grown to need over the years...
Hell, even the title of the article "No One Buys Our Records" ought to be a clue.
A couple of our favorite gems:
"I’ve got teenage kids, and when I talk to them and their friends about issues that concern me they think I’m a paranoid loon. "
"We should have split up for 10 years and gotten back together. Maybe we can still do that."
ST: "Except we’d be dead before there’s any interest in us reforming."
"I do lots of things, but there’s nothing I like as much as The Mekons."
We're sad to report that the last remaining member of the legendary Chicago country band The Sundowners, Don Walls, passed away yesterday. The Sundowners were good friends of Bloodshot and an inspiration to younger bands, like the Waco Brothers. In this essay, Waco Jon Langford explains what The Sundowners meant to him. In 2004, we released a compilation of The Sundowners' catalog (only a small portion of the 15,000 songs they learned to play), which is still available on CD and digitally.
Wanted to pass along info on a new book just published by UT Press. It's the SXSW Scrapbook: People and Things That Went Before.
SXSW Scrapbook takes a long look back at many years of highlights as South by Southwest celebrates its twenty-fifth edition in 2011. Those who were there share stories about how it all got started; memorable performances by major artists including Johnny Cash, the Black Eyed Peas, Iggy Pop, the Dixie Chicks, and the Flaming Lips; countless up-and-coming acts that got a leg up in their careers by playing SXSW; Sunday softball tournaments with Doug Sahm as championship-game announcer; goodie-bags decorated by renowned illustrators from Mike Judge to Daniel Johnston; and the convention's eventual expansion beyond music to include a film festival and an interactive media component.
The book includes numerous photos, plus essays from SXSW staffers and participants including Dave Marsh, David Fricke, Jim DeRogatis, Ed Ward, Michael Corcoran, and even JON LANGFORD and Bloodshot's own Il Capo Rob Miller—a delightful little tale about how he and Ryan Adams cemented the deal for Heartbreaker in the men's room of Antone's!
So, if you've ever wondered what you are missing in Austin every year, or if you want to piece together your fuzzy memories of your times there, this book is for you.
Coupla baseball related items for you:
1. The boys of Ha Ha Tonka stopped by MLB.com to tape this three-part interview -- listen as they talk about the Reds vs the Royals, how Brett and Brian share baseball player names and more: Part One / Part Two / Part Three
2. Jon Langford's music from Skull Orchard Revisited is featured on this Baseball Prospectus Podcast - Listen now!
In town for Jazzfest? On the heels of the release of his book and CD, Skull Orchard Revisited, Jon Langford opens an art show in NOLA this week!
Tonight, May 4, is the preview of Jon's gallery show at LeMieux Galleries (332 Julia Street) — there will be an acoustic performance and probably some cheese and wine and hobnobbing with the artist himself. If you can't make the preview, the show runs until May 28.
Then, ring in Cinco de Mayo at Chicky Wah Wah (2828 Canal Street) with a performance from Jonny backed by fierce locals, $1000 Car (who have adopted the moniker $750 Car for the proceedings, "which is much more in my price range," Jon says). Show starts at 10pm!
Videos! Interviews! Rather than post separately, here are the nifty bits 'o' media oddness that crossed our virtual desks today (well, maybe not TODAY, but I'm finally getting around to them.)
--HA HA TONKA: Most people assume that life on the road is one of glamour and comfort. Well, HHT shows just how TRUE THIS IS with THIS hilarious (yet sadly accurate) little video on Digital Tour Bus about their trusty (well, not so trusty, but that's another story) van. SWOON ALERT: Luke Long is shirtless throughout the video. See how REAL musicians travel...
--JON LANGFORD: While Jon girds himself of his upcoming EAST COAST tour, we thought we'd wet your musical whistle with THIS video posted on Time Out Chicago of him and band performing acoustic "Getting Used To Uselessness" from his latest fab slab Old Devils
--SCOTT H BIRAM: Someone thought it would be smart to put SHB on TV in Austin. Check THIS out, man. Scott's covering Don Walser, yodels his ass off in a Black Flag T and camo trucker cap after being intro'd by the squeaky clean super square TV host.
--BEN WEAVER: A fantastic feature on Aquarium Drunkard. It's called Diversions and covers artists waxing about subjects other than performing. Ben talks about meeting the great southern author Larry Brown
WHEW! That oughtta keep you all occupied for AT LEAST an hour at "work"
In the current Time Out Chicago, Jon Langford discusses his new album Old Devils, actual old devils like Kingsley Amis and Andre Williams and why his bass player is allowed to ride mechanical bulls in bars, but not his guitar player.
Read it HERE
Jon and some of the Skull Orchard performed "1234 Ever" in the Time Out Offices. Watch it HERE
Enjoy, and we hope we see you at The Ball!