"Gonna walk around and drink some more" might be a fine credo for the generally drug-addled laze-abouts that populate the scraggly yarns spun by Brooklyn-via-Minneapolis singer and Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn, but the trajectories of the real-life Finn and his chops-laden, avant-bar band members are looking infinitely more purposeful than that these days.
Well, okay... they're probably still going to do a lot of drinking, but at least they'll be doing a lot more traveling while they do (let's hope that someone else is driving, huh?).
Case in point, the famously thirsty band has recently signed a deal that will have their new album released through the legendary Rough Trade label in the UK and Europe, with the distribution rights being licensed from the boys' home team of Vagrant Records.
In a much more coherent statement than one might expect, Finn stated that the band is "really excited to begin this relationship with Rough Trade" for their fourth album, which of course will constitute the follow-up to 2006's breakthrough slice of Springsteen-on-Kerouac pie known as Boys and Girls in America (TMT Review). "From The Smiths to The Strokes, they have consistently released music from great artists and we are honoured to be a part of the roster. Rough Trade records have been part of my own collection since I started buying my own records in the early 1980s."
Hey, way to date yourself there, Craig.
Oh, and speaking of dates (seamless!), the band will also be doing a few victory laps around their new territory this spring. Catch them if you can, and maybe you can by them a drink to walk around with... or I guess "fly" around with, since they're big-time now. 05.11.08 - Camber Sands, UK - ATP 05.13.08 - Dublin, IE - Academy 05.14.08 - Belfast, UK - Spring and Airbrake 05.16.08 - Brighton, UK - Great Escape
In its latest effort to appear more "hip," "relevant," and "not like the Devil," Universal Music Group is reissuing a set of titles that will be exclusively packaged in recycled paperboard. These hippified titles will only be available at Wal-Mart, as the venture is being carried out in honor of the chain's "Earth Month." You thought your eyebrows couldn't possibly be raised any higher? Well, allow me to prove you wrong. The insert included in each CD will, when planted in the ground correctly, sprout wildflowers. Hopefully, the Happy Tree Friends will also appear to complete the circle of ridiculousness.
The albums receiving the green thumb treatment are mostly greatest hits compilations, which is an interesting roster in itself, prompting one to ask questions such as: "K-Ci & JoJo really had enough chart-toppers to warrant a ‘greatest hits’ album?" or "Would KISS really want their album insert to sprout dandelions?"
Let's get gardening!:
Bryan Adams - THE BEST OF ME
Bon Jovi - CROSS ROAD: GREATEST HITS
Boyz II Men - LEGACY: THE GREATEST HITS COLLECTION
James Brown - 20 ALL-TIME GREATEST HITS!
Jimmy Buffett - SONGS YOU KNOW BY HEART
Eric Clapton - CREAM OF CLAPTON
Patsy Cline - DEFINITIVE COLLECTION
Sheryl Crow - VERY BEST OF SHERYL CROW
Def Leppard - VAULT GREATEST HITS
Eagles - HELL FREEZES OVER
Melissa Etheridge - GREATEST HITS: THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
Forget Facebook. Forget MySpace. Forget Friendster. (What, you've already forgotten Friendster???) I'm not telling you this because I want you to ignore the drunken messages I sent you last night. I'm telling you because your favorite major music conglomerate Universal Music Group has teamed up with Buzznet to bring you the most amazing, most exciting, most music-y new online social media content EVER.
Now, word on the street (or Billboard magazine, whatever you wanna hear) is that Buzznet has been kickin' it with a slew of new investors and partners. But, if you're like me, the only one you will really care about is this budding relationship with Universal. It's like this: Buzznet gets to use UMG's catalog for some streaming music and video action, as well as editorial content from Universal-signed artists cum guest bloggers. (Holy shit, right? Imagine the insights and life wisdom that Beck and Chamillionaire will be able to drop!) In return, UMG gets an equity stake in the company and the opportunity to disseminate the Pussycat Dolls' views on Iraq.
New York group Blood On The Wall can, on paper, seem like a blast from the past. With vocals sounding occasionally like Thurston impersonating Black Francis, instrumental sounds sounding (in a crooked-line kinda way) like those fellows' most famous bands, and a sprinkle of early Sub Pop, some would be forgiven for thinking Blood On The Wall came out 15 years ago. Forgiven, but very wrong. See, BOTW has the type of qualities that overshadow their influences, making you nearly forget they exist. Besides, these are other things that BOTW have been compared to: a summer's day, a hearty Thanksgiving Day meal, and a swift kick to the head that alters your consciousness.
If you have checked out the band's three LPs, 2004's Blood On the Wall, Awesomer from 2005, and this year's Liferz (all on The Social Registry), then you know what I am talking about. One thing that can easily be gleaned from those records is that they must be absolutely devastating live. They've opened for bands like Sonic Youth, Black Dice, The Kills, and Dinosaur Jr., and now they are set to embark on a headlining tour of their own, starting in the place where its citizens should win the coveted "Most At Peace With Their Lives" award: Denver. For a month afterward, the band will blanket the USA with their sonic onslaught. Now, who doesn't like to be blanketed?