Check out the story and interview in the Minneapolis City Pages.
Now THAT'S dedication! He ain't tellin' off his driver or bitching cuz the satellite TV is cutting on the fritz and he can't watch Desperate Housewives of New Jersey.
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 write up in Chicago's New City about our Big Star day party
»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!
The MTV Hive gave their picks for "great twang* records for the springtime"
"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."
In this time of joy and fellowship, the blog Muzzle of Bees asked our resident lo-fi seemingly always bummed Ben Weaver about his favorite sad songs in a recurring feature of theirs called Sad Songs and Waltzes. Check out his thoughts on the Replacements, Randy Newman, Townes Van Zandt and more HERE
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"
From time to time, the blog Mog Music Network asks its favorite artists to create personally curated playlists for our curiosity-satisfying- and audio-streaming pleasure. Themes and styles will vary, but you’ll always know your favorite bands just a little better after listening.
Recently, they asked Ben Weaver to have a go at it and he's served up a nifty audio sampler from Gil Scott-Heron to the Gun Club to Vic Chesnutt.
Have a listen HERE
Perhaps you've heard us rail about it before, but the Interweb has made it possible for a lot of BAD writing to be seen by a lot of people on equal footing with GOOD writing. Thus, we're always giddy to see some thoughtful, interesting and, dare we say, informed critical responses to our releases, and endeavor to pass them along--and Ben Weaver's new record seems to have the scribes sharpening their pencils and putting some thought into their reviews.
From the Minneapolis City Pages is a lovely review and conversation with Ben about food, music, nature and how they relate to his creative process:
"Pure pastoral, a melodic and meditative acoustic collection that finds his gravelly, Tom-Waits-indebted croak now complemented by a heretofore hidden and lovely upper register on tracks like the album-opening "Grass Doe." Deftly mixing confessional balladry ("Drag the Hills") with acute character sketches ("City Girl") and impressionistic nature journal jottings ("The Rooster's Wife"), it's a new high-water mark." Read it all HERE.
Then there's the NPR station KCMP's webstream of an in studio performance. Listen to it HERE.
And the kicker...from the blog Minnpost.com, HERE'S a review that is rather effusive in its praise....even if we sheepishly agree.
"The temptation here is to compare it to Springsteen’s “Nebraska” or any of Greg Brown’s similarly stark beauties. But a more apt reference is Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks,” that epic break-up record that sounds fussy in comparison."
The new album is available on Tuesday, but you can pre-order now and get a free hand drawn hang tag from Ben, as well as our 2010 edition PROMO SAMPLER.
They are both at sale-priced AND receive the 2010 edition of the Bloodshot Sampler gratis (as in, FOR FREE!) This year's sampler has 21 tracks of brand new music from the likes of Justin Townes Earle, Jon Langford and The Blacks, as well as other catalog faves like Graham Parker, Detroit Cobras, Ryan Adams, Wayne Hancock, Bottle Rockets, Bobby Bare Jr and more.
WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! We press these up every fall and they go like the proverbial hotcakes.
Down here in the BS dungeon, the one thing we probably love just as music around here is food (we also consider beer a food, by the way). Our resident neo-folkie, Ben Weaver, entered an essay challenge to be included in Anthony Bourdain's book, "Medium Raw."
Feel free to read and vote for his essay "Kitchen Bestiary" HERE.
Check back in October when we release Ben's new album, Mirepoix and Smoke-- songs inspired by his time spent in a Minneapolis restaurant's kitchen.