Newswire

Lover! on 11/18 at Three Kings

Believe it or not, but being involved with the seedy Memphis punk underground in the mid 1990s can have its advantages. For Rich Crook, falling in with teenage terrors, The Reatards came right at the perfect time in his budding musical life. Stepping into a band with a very much still-teenage Jay Reatard between the release of their debut LP and their shambolic first European tour at the end of 1998 (??), Crook was always the steady force of somewhat actual consciousness that kept everything in balance. His appearance on the 'Grown Up Fucked Up' LP solidified his spot in The Reatards officially, and upon the band's implosion in early 1999, he joined Jay and Alicja Trout of The Clears in the next phase of their sonic obliteration, the notorious Lost Sounds. As this tightly-wound synth-punk unit quickly snapped into their place in the universe, endless touring ensued, and as most of the US never really got a good look at the Reatards live, people flocked out en masse for any and every Lost Sounds show that criss-crossed across the country over the next three years.

After armloads of LPs and endless 7" singles and a reputation for one of the most intense live performances of the early part of the new century, Lost Sounds wound down as most of the better bands tend to do. Each of the three core members decided it was best to try music on their own terms, resulting in some of the most interesting output of all as Alicja Trout formed Mouserocket, The Fitts, and still keeps it up with River City Tanlines on a regular basis. Of course, Jay Reatard started and killed the short-lived Angry Angles, but then delivered incredible solo material that transcended more "industry" barriers than any of us around in the the beginning would have ever imagined. Rich Crook made a few drumming appearances on Viva L'American Death Ray records with Nick Diablo, which were excellent VU-strung, grimy pop compositions, that should definitely be checked out.  But Crook really surprised us all with his eye-opening contributions to The Knaughty Knights, which he formed as a one-off side project with original ex-Oblivian Jack Yarber, while still drumming in the Lost Sounds. Crook's songs were shockingly great, high-energy minimalist pop from the get go, and even before the short-lived band had released a total of four 7" singles, it was obvious that he had a sorely unheralded songwriting skill that really needed to breathe on its own, in a major way.

Although production on the first two Knaughty Knights releases were insanely lo-fi compared to the later two, it was the third 7" EP on Goner released in late 2005 with Crook's epic "Death Has Come Over Me" and "Wenches of Turpentine St." that were the shining examples of the second coming of Rich Crook, the singer, guitarist and songwriter extraordinaire. These songs possessed the stark simplicity that so many great pop songwriters strive for, yet sound as casually executed as a weathered soul who just channels the music swimming around inside him. The last Knaughty Knights 7" was released on Jay Reatard's Shattered Records in the Summer of 2006 and alongside Jack Oblivian's "Boogie Disease" track, featured two more Crook-fronted smash hits, "Tommy of The River" and his version of The Outsiders' "I'm Not Trying To Hurt You," which once again sizzled with a zealous pop fierceness not many people were expecting. Touring Europe seemed like the best idea, and with Crook and Yarber's credentials it wasn't difficult to make it happen. (??)

The rest of the next year saw Crook taking a break from his active bands and working on an oil rig in southern Mississippi, near the Gulf of Mexico, where his reflections of that experience that make up the earliest Lover! songs happened to materialize. Finally Crook had his own musical vehicle all to himself, and with help from the Reigning Sound's Greg Roberson (filling in ironically on drums), he put together and recorded the first Lover! full-length album, producing, songwriting and playing an incredible string of powerpop hits that won't soon be forgotten. Co-released on Empty and PTrash Records in Spring of 2007, the Lover! debut LP still stands as one of the decade's finest pop albums, and by far that year's best.

But the frequency between releases was about to get hectic, as a second LP was already being quickly recorded in Memphis, this time with Jay Reatard behind the recording board. Aside from Billy Childish or Mr. Dan Melchior, releasing more than one full-length LP in the same six-month period was quite unheard of in these circles, so it really stuck out as an impressive feat. Never to disappoint, the 'Gathered In The Graveyard' follow-up LP further bolstered the Lover! sound and showed a stylish, yet sometimes risky mastery of the longer song format, foreshadowing the exquisite pop articulation Lover! would boldly display on the upcoming onslaught of domestic singles already in the works.

As 2008 came around, Lover! channelled their power and emitted a powerful stream of unique 7" singles, with each emerging one taking new stabs at different pop textures and all executed incredibly well and without any sign of a creative rut anytime soon. Labels such as HoZac, Iekk! Sounds, Douchemaster, Tic Tac Totally and Rob's House all released one-of-a-kind pop explosions from the Lover! soundscape, each adding to the rich tapestry of the band that Rich Crook has so carefully built from scratch. An extensive European tour and several festival appearances later, it's all definitely falling into place for Lover!

Here we are in 2009, and Crook has uprooted himself from his Memphis orbit, relocating to Chicago, and finally nailing down a solidified lineup, offering a foundation that wasn't as evident with a rotating cast of backing members in previous incarnations of the band. With lots of new releases on the horizon and a fresh start in a new setting, look out for Lover! to continue to be chiseled into a venerable force in the modern scope of American pop music, and one not soon forgotten.

THE MOTET PLAYS THE MUSIC OF SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE

For this show The Motet will be joined by some phenomenal musicians from the west coast. In addition to Motet regulars Dave Watts, Joey Porter, and Dominic Lalli, they will be featuring former Sly and the Family Stone guitarist: GAIL MULDROW

Gail played on the 1975 Sly and the Family Stone record "I get High on You" and has recorded and toured extensively with Sly bassist Larry Graham's Graham Central Station. In addition she has also toured with Merle Saunders and JGB (among countless other artists and groups). Gail is a fantastic vocalist as well as a slamming funk guitar player so she will undoubtedly be a huge addition to this year's line-up.

Also, The Motet is bringing in from Portland Oregon our ever popular vocalist Jans Ingber, singer extraordinaire Paul Creighton, and the most raw and funky bassist west of the Willamette: Dan Scollard. And last but certainly not least, the omni-present and always charming Cecil 'P-Nut' Daniels will be joining us with his futuristic electrotrumpet!

More info @ themotet.net.

The String Cheese Incident releases Trick or Treat, 2-Disc and Box Set, Today

With the one-time constant touring machine otherwise known as The String Cheese Incident slowing their schedule considerably in recent years, fans get a chance to relive the group's legendary "Hulaween" shows on the forthcoming live release, Trick or Treat. The two-disc release - set to hit today on CD, vinyl, and digitally - is culled from several of these epic shows by The String Cheese Incident.

Floozies, Fresh2Death & Michael Garfield at the B-Side Lounge

The Floozies (jazzy live looping funk duo), Fresh2Death (crunk dueling laptops), and Michael Garfield (virtuosic string tapping, with special guest Johannes Rath) @ Boulder's B-Side Lounge, with live painting by Michael Garfield.

The Floozies are a live looping duo made up of brothers Matt and Mark Hill. After forming in January 2008 in Lawrence, KS, they’ve gone from rocking house parties in their hometown to sharing the stage and collaborating with the likes of Galactic, Lotus, Perpetual Groove, Particle, edIT (Glitch Mob), Vibesquad, EOTO, Euforquestra, and many others in countless venues all over the Midwest. Their shows are an exercise in groove exploration, as they improvise their way through funk, hip-hop, and electronic music, bending and molding beats in new ways every night. Nothing is pre-recorded, nothing is planned, and no one performance is ever the same as another. Their new album, “Lunar Real Estate,” shows that they are skilled instrumentalists that know how to produce a fresh, slamming, electronic beat symphony that is simultaneously primal and compelling. It features 13 studio-produced tracks, some produced solo by Matt, some collaboratively, and some, for the first time, solo by Mark. It also features cover art designed by rising graphic design star David Bywater. Does it sound like their live show? Nope. Their live show experience is nothing like a studio album, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Fresh2Death is the live musical collaboration of DJs Fisk and Samples. The live remix, dual-laptop performance brings a hyper-active element that is missing in a standard DJ performance.  The band was formed in mid-January 2009, but Fisk and Samples have a combined 12 years of DJ experience. Come to a Fresh2Death show to hear the emerging sound of Glitch Hop, where Fisk & Samples are at the forefront of the beginning of a new genre.

Michael Garfield is on a mission to move you.  Rooted in an athletic but vulnerable voice and a dazzling palette of intricate fingerstyle guitar techniques, his intense sets turn on a dime between instrumental etudes, dynamic anthems, heart-spearing ballads, and hypnotic acoustic-electronic loopscapes...mind-altering solo performances fine-tuned to pull audiences deeper into the mixed blessing of our common human experience.

When: November 7th, 2009

Where: The B-Side Lounge, Boulder, CO

Billy Crockett To Release 'Wishing Sky' November 3

Veteran singer-songwriter-producer-master guitarist Billy Crockett will release on November 3 his new record, the artful and melodic WISHING SKY (Blue Rock Artists), with its smart and insightful lyrics and virtuoso instrumentation.

Crockett’s one-of-a-kind sound — fresh, thought-through lyrics included — is exemplified by WISHING SKY and its authentic songs of love and life and the handling of both from what the writer describes as a new point of view that crystallized during a respite from touring and the planning and building of Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio in Wimberley, Texas.

With cameo appearances by Jon Dee Graham, Ray Bonneville, Paul English and Lloyd Maines, Crockett’s WISHING SKY features “Feel It,” about how thinking too much can get in the way of good stuff (the tango, for instance, he says); “Meant That,” about longing for authenticity and finding it in a word, guitar solo, a dog howling at the moon or in the way she walks; and “Long Live This Love,” an audacious appeal for lasting love.

“After nine years, I wrote and recorded the album, songs of independent observation, free of institutional ties. In a way, I’m starting over,” he says. “I have tried to strip down my own language and ideas to something essential, tell my story, and maybe ours, to anyone. No proclamations, no codes and credos. Now it seems more about the simple story.”

Another cut from the album, “Ticking of Her Heart,” about how fear, alienation and depression consume a self, is a co-write with the great Pierce Pettis. The recording also includes a timely pep talk to Americans, “Back on the Horse”: “… the only chance we have, of course, is to get our asses back on the horse. …”

And there is a horse named WISHING SKY: a 2-year-old thoroughbred, black with a white comet streak across his forehead, that is named for the album and title track (about two people listening to ancient voices under the night sky) that lives and trains in Louisiana and will start racing next month.

In 1999, Crockett dedicated the album SIMPLE PLANS and a yearlong 40-stop tour to efforts by Habitat for Humanity and the communities it serves. He’s also written and recorded PASSAGES, an album of classical guitar pieces. In 2006, he and his wife, Dodee, founded Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio, where he is creative director and has produced albums for Cliff Eberhardt, Grace Pettis and others in its state-of-art recording facility there.

Crockett will play a special album release show at Austin’s famed Cactus Cafe on November 18.

For more information, visit www.billycrocket.com and www.bluerocktexas.com.

Phish Wants You To Recycle Your Cell Phone At Phish Festival 8

Rock the Earth and Phish are asking all fans planning to attend Phish Festival 8 to bring their old, unwanted mobile phones to

Todd Snider @ Boulder Theater

The Excitement Plan’s laid- back groove and top- shelf lyrics are being called Snider's best work yet. "This music is sorta JJ Cale meets Jerry Jeff Walker sounding with words that would hopefully impress Shel Silverstein, Bobby Bare, Chuck Berry, Kris Kristofferson or Randy Newman,” Snider said. With his contributions of stellar guitar, piano and harmonica, his musicianship shares the spotlight as easily as his treasured lyrics.

Snider is a vociferous musician whose fans know him to be quite the workhorse. His acclaimed 2006 release, The Devil You Know found the barefoot troubadour performing live on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman and the CD appeared on numerous year-end Top 10 lists including Spin, Blender and Rolling Stone. More recently, last year’s Peace Queer EP--a concept record featuring all the peace, love and anarchy Snider is known for--inspired Blender to say he “morphed from a wisecracking country-ish journeyman to the sharpest and funniest protest singer working today." The EP spent five weeks at number one on the Americana chart and Spin Magazine dubbed him, "One of roots music's slyest, smartest songwriters."

97.3 KBCO presents
TODD SNIDER
Friday, January 8
doors 7:00pm, show 8:00pm

Boulder Theater
2032 14th Street
Boulder, CO 80302
303.786.7030
www.bouldertheater.com

Reserved=$30.00, GA seated=$24.00
On Sale Saturday, October 31

A Frightfully Funky Halloween Weekend in New Orleans

Get ready for a Shaketacular Halloween Weekend!

Fri, Oct 30th 10:30 Show @ Blue Nile
Eric Lindell w/ Mia Borders +

LATE NIGHT Show: Brother Joscephus & The Love Revival Revolution Orchestra
$15.00
Fri, Oct 30th 11:30 Show @ Tipitina's FQ
Bonerama & PBS (Porter Batiste Stoltz)
$20 Adv/ $25 Doors
Sat, Oct 31st - HALLOWEEN NIGHT
Tipitina's FQ - 10pm Show
Dirty Dozen Brass Band &

Big Sam's Funky Nation
plus opener Brother Joscephus & The Love Revival Revolution Orchestra 
$20.00

Don't miss these frightfully funky shows! Costumes are encouraged, Shaking it is mandatory!
Buy Tickets Now

The Subjects On Headlining Tour With Bad Veins

Despite their clandestine and controversial beginnings (two band members were teachers and two were students at the same high school), The Subjects have managed to carve a name for themselves that sounds more like "Rushmore" than "School of Rock." Back in 2002, guitarist Joe Smith and bassist/vocalist Dave Sheinkopf were splitting their time between writing songs and syllabi, while drummer/vocalist Matt Iwanusa and guitarist Jimmy Carbonetti were about to bust out of the same Manhattan school. Since both parties were in desperate need of a full band, they held some rehearsals and once it became clear that the quartet's chemistry was pretty damn combustible, the Subjects were born.

Fast-forward a few years and things get a bit more complicated. The Subjects’ debut is dropped (2007’s With the Ease Grace Precision and Cleverness of Human Beings) and they hit the road, at first on their own and then with the Walkmen a few months later.

“We were always serious about playing music,” says Iwanusa, “but when we started meeting and playing with bands that were making music for a living we got to see how they did it.”

Keeping that career path in mind, the Subjects dove right into the demo stages for New Soft Shoe, firing up minimalist recordings in the style of their first full-length. Once those songs were ready for a proper studio, the band headed over to Key Club Recording Co. a couple hours outside Chicago. By working closely with Key Club’s masterful engineers, William Skibbe and Jessica Ruffins (see also: rock-solid releases from Cass McCombs, The Kills and Fiery Furnaces), the Subjects were able to whip up their wildest ideas, expanding their arsenal with everything from old-fashioned organs to honky-tonk pianos to Matt’s mom on saxophone.

“A lot of the instrumentation on this record came from stuff I learned in school—stuff I never thought I’d use,” says Sheinkopf, citing his training in classical harmony.

The first thing you’ll notice about the final product is the vocals—the way the melody in “Winter Vacation” unfolds like a spare Animal Collective A-Side; the brilliant shuffleboard beats/honeyed harmonies of “Right2Know.” Beyond that, the ep spreads the Subjects’ various strengths across the divergent tastes of four distinct songwriters in just 10 minutes. Well, divergent in terms of pulling cues from several eras and subgenres. All and all, the current state of the Subjects is as cohesive as a dictator-less band gets.

“Most of the arrangements on the first record are within the constraints of a four-piece band,” explains Iwanusa. “Now everyone’s more comfortable trying to sing and play different instruments. We all stepped it up this time.”

US Tour Dates

Fri 9/25 - Music Hall Of Williamsburg - Brooklyn, NY
Sat 9/26 - MPMF Festival - Cincinnati, OH $
Sat 10/3 - Middle East Upstairs - Boston, MA *
Mon 10/5 - Club Cafe - Pittsburgh, PA #
Tue 10/6 - The Bishop - Bloomington, IN #
Wed 10/7 - Lager House - Detroit, MI #
Thu 10/8 - Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL #
Fri 10/9 - TBA - Lincoln, NE #
Sat 10/10 - Hi Dive - Denver, CO #
Mon 10/12 - Kilby Court - Salt Lake City, UT #
Tue 10/13 - Reef - Boise, ID #
Wed 10/14 - High Dive - Seattle, WA #
Thu 10/15 - Rotture - Portland, OR #
Fri 10/16 - Sam Bond's Garage - Eugene, OR #
Sat 10/17 - Luigis - Sacramento, CA #
Mon 10/19 - Soda Bar - San Diego, CA #
Tue 10/20 - The Echo - Los Angeles, CA #
Wed 10/21 - Modified Arts - Phoenix, AZ #
Fri 10/23 - Emo's Jr. - Austin, TX #
Sun 10/25 - Cicero's - St. Louis, MO #
Tue 10/27 - The Cambridge Room @ HOB - Cleveland, OH #
Wed 10/28 - DC Nine - Washington, DC #
Thu 10/29 - Kung Fu Necktie - Philadelphia, PA #

$ = w/ Chairlift, Micachu and the Shapes, Heartless Bastards
* = w/ The Soft Pack
# = w/ Bad Veins

Nouvelle Vague's "3"

Beloved French band Nouvelle Vague return with their new hipshaking gem "3"   -- Due in stores on October 20th on Peacefrog   YES! That Nouvelle Vague! The inventive band that takes a song you adore and shows you how to fall in love with it allll over again!  With their sophisticated combination of bossa nova, jazz and sixties pop as they continue to remaster post punk and new wave nuggets! "3" differs from its predecessors in the arrangements, songs are inspired by American country music, roots and bluegrass.
On their debut, Nouvelle Vague took cherished tracks from the late 1970s and early 1980s by acts such as Joy Division, The Clash, The Cure, Depeche Mode and the Dead Kennedys and reworked them in a gentle bossa nova style. Sung by French female vocalists, some of whom had never heard the originals before, these cult hits had new life breathed into them, and their meanings became softly subverted. In French, Nouvelle Vague means “new wave”, and “bossa nova” in Portuguese. Even the records’ sleeves wittily referenced the artwork for Jean Luc Godard’s early-’60s new-wave films.
The group expanded its musical palette on Bande A Part, adding touches of reggae, ska and blues to balmy readings of familiar numbers by Bauhaus, Blondie, Buzzcocks, New Order and Yazoo, among others. By this point, even hardcore fans who’d considered these easy-listening versions of punk staples to be sacrilege learned to enjoy Nouvelle Vague as a guilty pleasure. But what of the authors who wrote the original songs – what did these once-ruthless idealists think of Nouvelle Vague’s more fragrant approach?
Well, of those canvassed, all approved – thumbs up from Mick Jones of the Clash, Morrissey, the Undertones, Dead Kennedys and Killing Joke. And this led Oliver and Marc to the concept behind the third album: Nouvelle Vague performs duets with the original singers.  The pair wrote a ‘dream’ list of the people they’d most like on the album and, when contacted, most said yes.
So on "3" you’ll encounter Depeche Mode’s singing “Master and Servant” with Nouvelle Vague’s leading lady Melanie Pain; Ian McCulloch of Echo And The Bunnymen duetting with Melanie on “All My Colours”; Marina Celeste performing “Our Lips Are Sealed” with Terry Hall of the Specials and Funboy Three (that’s a Go-Go’s track penned by Hall); and Magazine’s “Parade” sung by Barry Adamson and NV’s Nadeah Miranda. For additional tracks that didn’t make the final album, Chris Bailey from legendary Kiwi rockers The Saints performs a duet, likewise Samy Birnbach of noted Belgian new-wavers Minimal Compact.
Nouvelle Vague transform Talking Heads’ “Road To Nowhere” into a dusty bar-room shuffle, its head bowed as it traipses into the sunset after a long day working the land. “Heaven” by Psychedelic Furs becomes a tender acoustic affair. A bluesy swagger through Gary Numan’s “Metal” is sung with innocence and charm by Eloisia, a young Brazilian girl who could barely speak English and knew nothing of this music. Even “God Save The Queen”, once full of menace and bile, is fashioned into a romantic flutter. Add enchanting covers of Plastic Bertrand’s “Ca Plane Pour Moi”, Soft Cell’s “Say Hello Wave Goodbye” and “So Lonely” by the Police, and you have Nouvelle Vague’s strongest album to date.
To keep it fresh, Marc and Olivier approached this album in the same spirit of discovery with which they made their 2004 debut. Back then, says Olivier, they recorded four songs for fun and played them to friends, who loved them, and also loved the idea of turning new-wave songs into something different. And so they made an album.
As with all Nouvelle Vague’s work, the real stars of the records and shows are the songs themselves.
When Nouvelle Vague play live, these well-known songs by other people become Nouvelle Vague’s songs. They own them, you might say. In the last few years the group have taken to the road as a six-piece touring outfit, playing shows and festivals all over the world.