Well, it's NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY, so we thought that while you (like us) are relaxing (or chillaxing, as I'm told they say now) with our fave cocktail, we'd share a BUNCH of goodies that piled in on us the past few days. It's all really good and worth your while. So lick that rim (we're talking about salt---get your minds outta the gutter) and peruse:
---Roger Knox: Some FANTASTIC and in-depth pieces from places putting real effort and consideration into their praise for the album Stranger in My Country:
NoSurfMusic.com Here is a but a sample: "Stranger In My Land is a powerful collection full of pointed commentaries on the state of life for Australia’s Aborigines. Its true brilliance, however, is that these commentaries are presented in such an ear-pleasing manner, within songs that would be enjoyable no matter what their topic. And with a Shakespearean understanding for the timing of comic relief, there are moments of frivolity and nostalgia interspersed throughout, making it an even more entertaining experience. There’s no doubt that Roger Knox and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts’ Stranger In My Land is an important album, but it is also just a great listen that no fan of country music—no matter which hemisphere he or she calls home—should miss."
From the Weld for Birmingham: -“Roger Knox sings with the wisdom and fatalism of one who’s come through the fire. His yearning for “Dreamtime,” the Aboriginal state of grace, echoes back to Blind Willie Johnson and King David’s lyre, reminding us that real country music can come from any country...But the result is no stereotypical country album. Indeed, its eclectic and personable introduction to a hidden culture might well remind you of Buena Vista Social Club.”
and then an interview in the Uprooted Music Revue:
-“Stranger In My Land is sure to appeal to fans of Alan Lomax's field recordings, as well as to the contemporary folk and alt country fans who have an ear for music of the people by the people...This album is incredible, and I am overjoyed to share this man's musical history with you.”
It's an important record for us, and most entertaining as well, we hope you give it a chance.
In other Roger news, he will be appearing on the ABC Radio National show The Daily Planet in his native Australia. It 's next week sometime. Which might be last week here--we're still confused on how all that works. Anyway, HERE is the program listing
---Bottle Rockets: A lengthy piece on Brian Henneman called, lovingly enough, "I'll Puke if That Jukebox Plays John Cougar One More Time," on his early days with Uncle Tupelo and the genesis of the Rockets. Pictures and song streams. Really interesting for you history buffs. Go to Adios Lounge for a peek.
Whew...now, to quote the great philosopher Jimmy Buffett, where IS that lost shaker of salt?
Well we dusted off the ol' Suggestions Box we keep in the office and found that folks are looking for a quick and easy way to sample the best of the best of some of our artists, something that will sift through some rather large catalogs for them and put together one hell of a playlist.
We obey your commands.
Thus, we have launched "Choice Cuts"---a series of digital only compilations that cull 12 tunes from some of our artists in one easy to swallow package at one even easier to swallow price. They are available only on iTunes.
So, whether you are looking to explore some heretofore unknown music, something you might have missed, or desirous of having a concise collection by an artist you already love, Choice Cuts is for you.
To kick it off, we've released
The Waco Brothers (Volume One)
It's with both dismay and hopefulness that we pass along this news from Wayne's management:
With the support of his family, friends, club owners and label, Wayne Hancock has canceled his 2011 July and August tour dates to enter a comprehensive residential rehabilitation program.
Wayne is currently in a short-term rehab program and following his two Texas shows next week and a performance at the Rockabilly Rave in the U.K. on June 16, he will then enter an extended-term recovery facility to address his longtime fight with addiction.
We would like to extend our appreciation for your understanding, especially to those who had tickets to the cancelled shows. Wayne will do his best to return to your area in the near future.
Canceled tour dates:
7/9 Houston, TX at Armadillo Palace
7/20 Salt Lake City, UT at The Garage
7/21 Ketchum, ID at Whiskey Jacques
7/22 Virginia City, MT at Wells Fargo Coffee House
7/23 Yellowstone, MT at West Yellowstone City Park
7/29 Minneapolis, MN at Lee’s Liquor Lounge
7/30 Des Moines, IA at Gas Lamp
8/2 Columbia, MO
8/3 Kansas City, MO at Knucklehead’s
Let's all pull for the Train and hope to see him out on the road once again where he belongs---Bloodshot
Now, those in the know about Wayne "The Train" know that he's the King of Juke Joint Swing. So why does he play a heavy metal store when he's in Salt Lake City?
Cuz they're cool guys with a cool store, that's why. Our buddies at the Heavy Metal Shop know good music when they hear it and have developed a serious music crush on Wayne, so much so they had him do an in-store show there last week.
Check out some video HERE
You can tell it's a Metal store by the big banner that says DIE MOTHERFUCKERS on the wall behind them. Now, we just need to get Wayne on a bill with Goatwhore...
As some of us get ready to run out the door and head to Boston for our 15th Anniversary Shindig at the Middle East, here are some nifty goings on:
- Andre Williams recently recorded a new album for us in the Motor City with Matt Smith (Outrageous Cherry, Volebeats, Nathanial Mayer) at the controls. Sitting in with them was Motown guitar legend Dennis Coffey. Read about Dennis and the recording in the Detroit Metro Times here.
- Scott H. Biram played the Off Broadway in St Louis earlier in the month, and Lo-Fi STL was there to capture it on video. Check Scott out in all his feral glory here
- Wayne Hancock submitted himself to some vigorous questioning by our buddies at PopMatters.com. Want to know what movie makes Wayne cry? His favorite albums? Can he rap? Looky here for answers.
- The Chicago/Hideout Party is shaping up with the addition of the Drunken Spelling Bee and Belt Sander Races. Also, we are so happy to have a reunion show by Moonshine Willy. Here's an interview with singer/guitarist Kim Docter on the Beechwood Reporter
Now, time to get some fresh scallops....
See you this week in Boston, and next week in Philly. Where should I go for cheesesteaks and lobster rolls?
- On Monday, we had one of those evenings when we remember why we live here. The Shelebration, a tribute to Shel Silverstein was held at Millennium downtown. The weather was perfect. We brought a picnic and jug of vodka and juice. The band was Bobby Bare Jr, Nora O'Connor, Patrick from My Morning Jacket, Chris Scruggs and others. Guests included Sally Timms, Will Oldham, Bobby Bare Sr and Jon Langford. Check out the video Jon's version of the Shel-penned A Boy Named Sue here.
- What do YOU think of when you add up Salt Lake City and a Metal record store? That's right: WAYNE HANCOCK! Turns out the dudes dig themselves some Wayne at our new buddies The Heavy Metal Shop store in SLC. Check out these videos from an in store performance he did with Joe Buck Yourself here.
- Some Great tour announcements this week for our overseas buddies: Deadstring Brothers will be in the UK in September behind their new album SÅo Paulo and Justin Townes Earle announced some Austrailian/New Zealand dates ("down under" I believe it is called) also in September. So, that's plenty of time to make your plane reservations...
- Rob's Recommendation of the Week: Gale Street Inn on Milwaukee. Every year, several friends and I congregate SOMEWHERE for strong drink, meaty meats, conviviality and the All Star Game (for BASEBALL, you Visigoths). The AL won in part due to the triple by Tigers' outfielder Curtis Granderson. Oh yeah. The ribs are of the meltinyourmouth variety. Not smoked. Just tender and addicting. It being Chicago, our appetizer for the table (actually the horseshoe part of the bar near the TVs) was a FRIED CHICKEN. Yes, a whole fried chicken. Pass the toothpicks. Say hi to the owner George, he's got the classic Chicago-Belushi-ish vibe. By the way, the leftover ribs are one of the only things that heat up well in a microwave. And Go Tigers!
Your weekly or semi-weekly peek into the swirling vortex of weirdness that is life in the Bloodshot Lane. So, stop tweeting about the King of Pop for a few minutes, relax (the boss ain't watching) and catch up. All items guaranteed to be Sequined Glove Free.
- Wayne Hancock on Sirius/XM. The Train is performing and being interviewd on the fancy satellite radio. Show will on Tues June 30th @ 9pm eastern and Thursday July 2nd at 11pm eastern time. Outlaw Country on Sirius 63 and XM channel 12.
- Justin Townes Earle's new, arty and beautiful video of "Midnight at the Movies" is up on Vimeo and YouTube. Have a gander. It's keen, as the kids say (or said).
- What music do musicians listen to? This age-old question was posited to Ha Ha Tonka's Luke Long at SXSW this year and our friends at Rhapsody. Check out the answer here. Personally, I do not think his answer could be more wrong. It's a BAD album. I'll take it up with him later.
- While the blogosphere has its up sides, one glaring downside is the crappy writing. "Reviews" of records that are more half-cocked diary entries like "oh dude, i was up all night doing Jager bombs and watching The Wire on Hulu and was, like, no way was I up for listening to this band" that have precious little to do with the music. Thus, we are pleased when lengthy, well-crafted critiques come across our desks, like this one from Cheeky Chicago regarding Ha Ha Tonka's new one. Read it, but beware, you may gain some actual insight on the music.
- Rob's Recommendation of the Week: Nhu Lan Bakery. Everyone's got that place (or, pity if you don't) in their 'hood that is just so good, so cheap, so GO TO, that you kinda take it for granted and, POOF, one day you are reminded, scolded almost, to NOT take if for granted. Today, I atone for this and sing its praises. Proving that not all colonialism was bad (ok, settle down, it's a joke), this Vietnamese sammich shop on Lawrence Ave in Chicago combines the fish sauce of the east with the crusty baguettes of ol' France. They are cheap, very tasty, very filling. The owners are super nice, the coffee nerve-endingly strong. The flat screen TV over the drink cooler (lemon grass soda, anyone?) alternates between CNN and Asian Lingerie shows. Some swear by the pate and head cheese sammiches, but they're a little rich for me. I go for the BBQ pork. Lots of cilantro, daikon radish and hot peppers. Check it out, but don't neglect your own GO TO spot in your hood in the process. Never forget those.
Next week, we'll be coming at you from the first of our 15th Anniversary Beer-B-Q's in Pittsburgh. Got any suggestions for excellent breakfast places?