MP3: Alphabet City
MP3: My Concern
Some big news in the land of Columbus-based road warriors Two Cow Garage. First, the band will be re-releasing The Wall Against Our Back, which came out in 2004 on Shelterhouse. The self-released, limited-edition (500) reissue will be pressed on red, 180-gram vinyl with re-packaged artwork, available in mid-November. You can now pre-order the album with packages that include T-shirts and posters. Download two tracks from the re-release — “My Concern” and “Alphabet City” above.
In a press release sent by TCG’s manager Steve McGann (who also manages Lydia Loveless, Tim Easton and Todd May), Shane Sweeney shared these thoughts about the record:
After two years of almost constant touring on our first record, Please Turn the Gas Back On, in 2004 we decided to seclude ourselves in the ranch land of north Texas and record the songs that we had been hammering on over that long stretch of touring. We had no idea what the reaction would be to Wall Against Our Back. It just all happened so fast, and we were all so focused on doing it, that we had little time to postulate on what anyone else’s thoughts would be about it. As it turns out, and lucky for us, people did care, more than we ever could have hoped for. As we continued to tour and record, The Wall Against Our Back became a distant blur in the rearview mirror of our catalogue of songs. And soon we let it fall by the wayside and go out of print. Yet, it’s a struggle to think of a show where there hasn’t been at least one person requesting us to play a song “Off of that red record . . .” And now we’re doing something about it. Through the years TCG has moved progressively away from Wall’s sound musically, but we are no less proud of The Wall Against Our Back. It’s nice to welcome this record back into the fold. Thanks for sticking with it, and us.
The release also noted that Two Cow Garage is no longer affiliated with Suburban Home Records, and it didn’t mince words about the reason why:
Although attempts were made by TCG to have an amicable split, SHR failed to live up to its responsibilities to the band. In short, the band wishes SHR well, but asks its fans to buy directly from TCG or TCG website. Any other purchases at this time will unfairly go to SHR and TCG will receive nothing from those sales.
TCG fall tour dates:
If 2009 was the year of Larry Jon Wilson, 2010 was the year of Bill Fox and the Gibson Bros. I think I listened to Bill Fox’s two reissued albums — Shelter from the Smoke and Transit Byzantium — more than anything else. (Shelter got a deluxe vinyl reissue, and Scat promises a similar treatment for Transit in 2011.) Go get ’em. And working on a story about the Gibson Bros. reunion show back in July occupied my brainspace and held my interest for months. I don’t know if CDR has any copies of the Build a Raft reissue left, but if they do, it’s required listening for any Columbus music fan or anyone with a passing interest in twisted, noisy country/blues/rock.
But in terms of new stuff, here’s what I liked this year, starting with national releases and ending with Cowtown LPs.
1. Strand of Oaks – Pope Killdragon
I didn’t immediately hit repeat when I heard this album, but once I came back to it, I never stopped. Who knew a record with songs about John Belushi (from the perspective of Dan Akroyd), a 12-foot man and JFK could be so engrossing. Devastating, too. If you think Tim Showalter is just another pretty-voiced folkie, the layers of synth and Sabbath-like riffs on “Giant’s Despair” prove otherwise. The best way to get Killdragon digitally or on vinyl is through Strand of Oaks’ Kickstarter page.
2. The Black Keys – Brothers
Posted in 2010 Favorites, Columbus, Review
Tagged Anais Mitchell, Andrew Graham, Bill Fox, black keys, Black Swans, Deathly FIghter, Deerhunter, earwig, Ghost Shirt, Gibson Bros, Hadestown, Jana Hunter, Justin Townes Earle, Kanye West, Kyle Sowashes, Local Natives, Lost in the Trees, Love Language, Lower Dens, Mavis Staples, Micah Schnabel, Mountain Man, mumford and sons, Nick Tolford, Patty Griffin, Sam Amidon, Shearwater, Spoon, Strand of Oaks, Sufjan Stevens, Sun Kil Moon, super desserts, surfer blood, Time and Temperature, Vampire Weekend
Vocals are kinda buried, but you get the idea. Plus you get “The Great Gravitron Massacre” as a bonus after the new tune.
Also, the solo release from Micah Schnabel (that bespectacled guy singing up there), When the Stage Lights Go Dim, is out now, and you can stream the whole thing over at Spinner. SXSW info for Micah and Two Cow’s Saturday shows, along with Schnabel’s solo acoustic take on “Bastards & Bridesmaids,” after the jump. Continue reading
MP3: Micah Schnabel – American Static
This record started out as something Micah pressed himself and sold out shows, but Suburban Home is giving When the Stage Lights Go Dim a proper release on March 9. And proper, it is — you can pre-order six different packages. There’s digital (mp3 and flac), CD, black vinyl, green-and-white vinyl, plus coozies, buttons, pint glasses, posters and so on.
I also got a pleasant surprise when I pulled the trigger on the green vinyl pre-order: The mp3 download for the record (which is e-mailed immediately) also included a digital album called “Two Cow Garage – Live @ 3 Kings,” which presumably is from one of the band’s shows at the 3 Kings Tavern in Denver. Nice!
After a cursory listen, the record is pretty much all I would want from a Micah Schnabel solo album — no frills, very few overdubs or collaborators (lil’ piano here, lil’ fiddle there). Just the man’s tobacco-stained voice and acoustic guitar. Not slick, not quite lo-fi. And I can’t imagine a more perfect song for him to cover than the Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait.”
If you want to give it a test run before pulling the trigger yourself, you can grab that mp3 up there and stream the whole album here.
“American Static” is on Schnabel’s solo release, When the Stage Lights Go Dim, which had a soft release this year and will supposedly be re-pressed with a bigger release in 2010.