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Retail Pete Goes to the Gories

"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...)

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Exene's New Record On its Way

Earlier this spring, Exene finished her solo album Somewhere Gone, to be released on CD & LP, this October.

Recorded in Springfield MO with Lou Whitney of the Skeletons, it is a haunting, intimate album with the beating heart of a poet at the center.

As Exene told us, "it has the passion of X without all the loud."

Bloodshot Digest: 7-7-09

Bloodshot Digest: The "Goodbye, MJ" Edition

  • We celebrated the Fourth of July weekend in Pittsburgh, where we threw the FIRST of our 15th Anniversary Beer-B-Qs at The Smiling Moose. Didn't spend your holiday in the Rust Belt? No problem, you can check out pictures from the event here and here, or you can check to see if a Bloodshot Beer-B-Q is coming to a city near you.
  • The fabulous indie radio station WOXY hosted Ha Ha Tonka a couple weeks back for one of its Lounge Act sessions. You can now download the session, which features and interview with the boys and live versions of new songs, here.
  • Justin Townes Earle's been about to every corner of the US touring the past few months, but if by chance you haven't gotten a chance to see him live yet, this new Paste Magazine video session may tide you over.
  • And finally, we've got new items in our Bloodshot Bazaar! It's summertime, and that means packing up the cheese and crackers to sit on a lawn and see The Doobie Brothers play Ravinia Fest! We've got a couple of stylish ways to keep your picnicking needs cool this summer, with our Bloodshot Six Pack Cooler and 15 Year Anniversary Beer Coolies.

Nora O'Connor singing with the New Pornographers

Our doe-eyed, southside chanteuse Nora O'Connor will be hitting the stage with her pals the New Pornographers on some West Coast amphitheater shows.  Also appearing is Death Cab for Cutie.  Check her out in these cities.

Bloodshot Digest 7-3-09

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.

Bloodshot Digest 6-26-09

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.
  • 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 WeekNhu 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?

True Bloodshot: Season 2, Episode 2

True BloodshotEach week, we'll (well, Miss Jenny will) recap the latest episode of the Southern vampire serial, True Blood, and follow it up with some True Bloodshot -- a playlist of Bloodshot (and some non-Bloodshot) songs that we think would nicely complement this TV series with a bite. Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Read full piece

Bloodshot Digest 6-19-09

As we in Chicago continue to build our Ark and sweep the rising tide of frogs out the front door, we bid you WELCOME to the Friday digest.  Lots of fun things to look at and read about, so QUIT WORKING for a second.

  • Ha Ha Tonka had a high-quality live shoot at the fabulous Off Broadway in St Louis on May 6th as part of the Born Small Town Tour kick-off party. Take a peep.
  • Here's a fantastic piece on Scott H. Biram from the Austin Decider, it's got an interview and embedded links to videos and live performances.  Read about his whiskey benders and all the metal in his legs.
  • Tired of rooting around the Interweb for all those CLASSIC Robbie Fulks songs? Our buddies (and fans) over at Glorious Noise put together a sampler to make life easier and boost your productivity. So, here's a BRAINLESS way to get a whole mess of Fulks tunes in one spot. Then you'll want more, and you'll want to legally support one of the best songwriters and performers to ever call Chicago home.
  • Rob's Recommendation of the Week: The movie Up! Look, I hate popular culture more than any of you, so when something makes billions of dollars at the box office, i can usually safely assume it's pureed mush for the masses, but this is art. If you are not weepy and amazed at the depth of feeling and the economy of story telling in the first 10 minute segment, you have a heart of tar.  AND i haven't gut laughed that often at a movie in months. AND it's in 3D.  See it. Check your hipper-than-thou baggage at the door and soak in a great movie.

Ok, back to filling sandbags.

Bloodshot Digest 6-17-09

Bloodshot Digest: New release edition!

Walter's Dogs

  • Finally, is with a stunned and heavy heart that we report on the passing of stalwart Chicago soundman Gary Rogers. An interesting cast of characters populates the local music scene, and I’m confident that other area musicians will agree with me when I say that Gary was one of the most original, sincere, and nicest of the bunch. He loved his work, and we always shared a story and a laugh (and usually a Guinness) whenever he manned the knobs for my band. At our most recent show, at the Bottom Lounge, I joked one on one with him from the stage, and I’m grateful we recorded that night’s performance, and hence that exchange, so that I can always remember him laughing. He was an authentically good person, he was good at his job, and he will be missed. The Bottom lounge will host a benefit for his family on Tuesday 6/30. - Scott Schaefer, Bloodshot Records

True Bloodshot: Season 2, Episode 1

True BloodshotEach week, we'll (well, Miss Jenny will) recap the latest episode of the Southern vampire serial, True Blood, and follow it up with some True Bloodshot -- a playlist of Bloodshot (and non-Bloodshot) songs that we think would nicely complement this TV series with bite (And, the True Blood music supervisors may also agree -- we've had a few of of our artists already featured on the show!). Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Read full piece

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