We just love it when a music writer goes to a show with a pre-conceived notion of somebody and proceeds to have his mind blown AND he or she fesses up to it!
Check out this conversion experience of a writer in Phoenix at a recent Scott H Biram show.
Scott talks about his "special" way of playing Led Zeppelin covers. NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART! Shield the eyes of children. Read it HERE.
Given the overwhelming volume of crapola out there on the intertubes, it's nice when writers take some time to craft their pieces rather than just posting snarky, ill-informed diary entries and calling it "journalism." In our efforts to encourage such behavior, we'll point them out when we can.
We got a couple nice ones in this week about Exene Cervenka, as she is on tour with the Dex Romweber Duo (and boy, as a long time fan of both, this tickles my music-geek sweetspots). So, sit back and enjoy!
From Creative Loafing in Atlanta: "Unless you're a dictator and you're going to play all of the instruments yourself, it's best to let people come up with some surprising things that you wouldn't normally think of." Read it all HERE.
Check out this piece wherein Justin recounts playing with the Band's Levon Helm. That's right LEVON f****** HELM!
Here's a snippet:
Q: "You just played at one of Levon Helm's "Midnight Rambles" at his home in Woodstock, New York. What was it like playing with such a legend of contemporary Southern music? "
A: "I got to sit in Levon Helms parlor and watch football with him before the show, and I got to sing the first verse of "The Weight" with him playing drums. It was one of those nights I will absolutely never forget — definitely the highlight of my career by far. I'm such a Band dork that it was like no one else in that room mattered but Levon Helm. I could have touched him with my elbow while watching him play drums, he was so close to me. It was just one of the coolest things ever."
Read the whole sheband HERE.
[Insert Clever Headline Here]
- AMERICA! What's wrong with you? Exclaim Magazine, the Rolling Stone of Canada recently declared Scott H. Biram's new disc "Album of the Month!" Yer not gonna lie around and let THEM be cooler than US, are you? Get down with the Biram sound, people. I mean, really.
- Minneapolis and Madison Anniversary Beer-B-Q lineups finalized. Those of you in the Upper Midwest (or those of you willing to travel there) have more to celebrate than the ripening lingonberries and waterslides in the Dells. Our Anniversary festivals in your fair cities are all booked and confirmed and they are, I must say, a couple of killer lineups. More cities to follow. Get the updates here.
- Michael Jackson is still dead
- Rob's Recommendation of the Week: Balyeat's Restaurant in Van Wert OH. While driving back to Chicago from our Pittsburgh Beer-B-Q last weekend, I eschewed the grimness of the Ohio Turnpike and took US 30, the Lincoln Highway, instead. After gassing up on the outskirts of this town near the OH/IN border I noticed a faded billboard with the words "homemade" and "pie" in consecutive order. I was sold. I'm easy that way. I drove the 1/2 mile to town and there it was, next to the courthouse. Serving since 1923 or so. Excellentness #1: When the waitress asked me if I was ready for supper, I said I hadn't seen a menu. Her reply: "Oh honey, it's Sunday, we don't have menus" and listed my choices. I opted for stewed chicken with homemade noodles over mash(ed potoatoes). Excellentness #2: It came with soup or salad, I said salad. Her reply: "tossed, potato or JELLO." Oh, baby. It was all very, VERY good. Excellentness #3: There were about 12 or 14 pie choices on the counter. I went for Butterscotch Creme and almost sobbed with joy when I ate it. Excellentness #4: The whole shootin' match cost me about 8 bucks. SO, the next time you're on the road between Fort Wayne and Toledo (and who DOESN'T make that drive all the time?) stop in. RUNNER UP: Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh. In an effort to streamline the lives of their patrons, they put the french fries IN the sandwich. Lord, have mercy.
Thanks for tuning in and let us know where we need to eat during our upcoming travels.
"We are spoiled here in Chicago. Rarely is it a question of IF there's a
show to go to, but rather WHAT show will be vying for your ears, eyeballs,
and beer dollars. So it was odd for me to make a special whirlwind trip to Detroit on June 27th just to see a show.
But this was not any ol' show. No siree, this was the Oblivians and the
Gories, two of my all-time favorite now-defunct bands getting back together
to play just three shows in the States- two in Memphis and one in Detroit
(giving neither band an unfair homefield advantage...)
The "Happy Birthday America" edition, wherein we celebrate the brash de-shackling from our colonial overlords by sitting by the kiddie pool, one hand in the beer cooler, the other holding a lit match to a fuse to blow shit up. Independence Day, indeed.
- Read Bloodshot Rob rant about the term "alt-country" in the Pittsburgh Tribune as they hype the first of the 15 Year Anniversary festivals.
- Dex Romweber portrait in a North Carolina pizza parlor. Yeah, you read that right. How cool is that? The only portraits in pizza joints we have here in Chicago are of Capone or Ditka. Read about it here.
- The Boston Phoenix has done their annual 50 Best New Bands in 50 States feature here. Other than being a quality read, it also named Ha Ha Tonka as the representative from Missouri. We hope they do well in the swim suit competition (ladies, stop your swooning). Check up on YOUR home state, too.
- Rob's Recommendation of the Week: Having spent a great deal of time as a teen pyromaniac, I mean, connoisseur of aerial star spangles, I feel fortunate to be so close to the off ramp fireworks superstores of Indiana, just over the border. Now, mind you, I do not condone the launching of 500 gram Supercakes, that have 156 red, white and blue comets shot in rapid fire that burst in waves at the finale, or the SKY THUNDER with its gigantic bursts of alternating green and silver, red and silver and yellow and silver, or the Victory Shot that kicks up a sparkling gold brocade that ends with a volley of loud explosions, but they sure beat the hell out of sparklers and snakes.
Enjoy and be safe.
June? Already? How did that happen?
- The Bottle Rockets are ready to roll! The album will be released on August 11th. Check out some songs, the cover and read all about it here.
- The love for the upcoming Ha Ha Tonka album is already rolling in. Check out this review in Spin.com and pre-order the album now.
- Heading to Bonnaroo? Yeah, fine. Have fun. We're stuck here, but don't forget to catch Justin Townes Earle's performance on Friday, June 12th. Tell him we said "hi!" and we are all busy working to keep him in fancy cowboy boots.
- Rob's Recommendation of the Week: Having slept about 5 hours in the past two nights (a sinister combination of a killer sinus headache and loud, Polish roofers next door), I am recommending SLEEP! It's a wonderful thing and you don't really miss it until you ain't gettin' any. Heed my word.
The folks over at SPIN have entered their verdict on the new Dex album, Ruins of Berlin, and it's a four-starred one!
First in Flat Duo Jets, and now with nimble sis Sara Romweber (ex–Let's Active) on drums, the dynamic Dexter keeps the careening, untamed spirit of early rock'n'roll alive by not taking anything too seriously. Ruins of Berlin aims to raise his profile by featuring tender duets with Cat Power ("Love Letters") and Neko Case ("Still Around"). But it's fevered outbursts like "Lookout" and "Grey Skies," where Dex unleashes his slightly sloshed voice and surfabilly guitar, that have real soul-saving potential. -- John Young, SPIN.com