Archive for October, 2002

My apologies for the long delay between updates, but the job has kept me in Puerto Rico for much of the past month. Yeah the beaches are nice, but man it’s good to be back in Texas, if only for a few days. So. News. There ain’t a ton of it, though reports from Elektra indicate they are quite pleased with the initial reaction to The Instigator. And who can blame them for being happy, with reviews like these?


“In his first solo album, The Instigator, Miller deals with relationships from unexpected angles, combining a strong literary touch with an infectious new-wave energy. Whether he’s worrying about the future of a relationship or reminiscing about a slightly preposterous one, he’s an original, affecting pop rock presence.” – Robert Hilburn, Los Angeles Times

“Miller is a great lyricist, and The Instigator should make the pop-savvy listener feel incredibly happy, which certainly makes it one of this year’s best. Most of the hype has gone to Ryan Adams thus far, but this is the real deal here.” – Launch.com

“The Instigator is full of knock-’em-dead songs, some happy, a few wistful. With this solo debut, Miller ups the melodic ante, staking his claim to becoming his generation’s answer to Nick Lowe or Marshall Crenshaw. Deploying wordless harmonies and cascading guitars, The Instigator, is so damn seductive.” – Blender Magazine

“The Instigator is a hard-pop gem constructed on the rudiments of Miller’s acoustic guitar, adorned with superbly arranged instrumentation and appointed with lush harmonies. While some Old 97’s partisans may miss the rootsy flavor, many of these songs rank among the finest of Miller’s career.” – No Depression Magazine

“And why should you buy his album? Because we think you might like it.” – Entertainment Weekly

“Rhett Miller has combined his passion for classic pop and modern literature into a wonderful solo record. The Instigator is a smart and sleek pop disc dotted with Brill Building choruses – Miller’s never had a problem with catchiness. It’s subject mater ranges from Franz Kafka to four-eye girls. And as usual, heartache, an emotional tone that invariably brings out the singer’s eloquence, floats through the music.” – VH1.com

“Rich in sad-eyed pop, jangly rockers and country fueled rave-ups, The Instigator has undeniable hooks on nearly every track.” – Los Angeles New Times

“The erstwhile leader of the Old 97s celebrated the release of his solo debut The Instigator with a meteoric thrill ride of a show. Miller is obviously having a grand old time on his own. With good timing, his tousled good looks and breezy charm, Miller just may gain the success critics have predicted for him.” – Daily Variety

“With the recent rise of Ryan Adams, and with Beck now back in singer-songwriter mode, Miller’s melodic smarts, filled with both whimsy and ironic wit, make him game for greater exposure.” – Hollywood Reporter

Rhett also turned in a great acoustic performance recently on the Acoustic Cafe, and you can hear it here.

Also, you may recall that a ten year lease on the World Wide Web domain name, rhettmiller.com was given to Rhett as a birthday gift a year or two ago. Now Rhett’s site is up and running. And no, not by me, though I like the green and black color scheme! Actually, I think the folks at the Warner Music Group are keeping keeping Rhett’s official site up to date. In any case, old97s.com hereby issues a warm welcome and best wishes to rhettmiller.com. Check it out!

Finally, make sure to keep current with several new live and in-store appearances on the “Tour Dates” page, a couple of new Rhett Miller features from RollingStone.com on the “Discussion” page. And though I can’t promise a date specific, my next big project here is a big update to the “Trading” page, followed by a revamped and reloaded “Sounds.” page. Stay tuned!

Instigator debuts at

October 5, 2002

The Instigator debuts at… #1 on Billboard’s “Heatseekers” chart, which denotes up and coming artists. Outstanding!

But now peoples, it’s time to get your Peeples on. Man I’m sorry, but that was too fun to pass up. Still, you’re about to have a lot more opportunities to catch 97’s drummeister Philip Peeples. Tomorrow, October 6, marks Philip’s debut with John Dufilho’s more-acoustic-than-Deathray-Davies side project, I Love Math. The show’s at the Barley House, and for those who can’t make it thatnks to this short notice, ILM will be making a return appearance at the Barley House on October 13. If you’ve never caught I Love Math, you’re in for a treat, as it’s akin to a Davies show, except for grownups. OK that’s not right. It’s like a Davies show for for folks who have to get up and go to work in the morning. Or something. Can’t make it to Dallas? Not to worry, I Love Math’s debut CD will be released by Summer Break Records, next month!

Of course Philip is still the skinsman for Ken Bethea’s awesome Scrap Hotel, and the Hoteliers themselves have two upcoming gis; the first tonight, 10/5 at Gilligans in Arlington, TX as part of an anti-cancer fund-raiser. Then you Texas types or Oklahoma people – I don’t mind Oklahoma people – can catch the Scarp Hotel in Dallas’ West End on October 12, in the culmination of Texas – OU Weekend. Of course, the rest of us north Texans will just be staying home, listening to our property values drop as the area becomes infested with Teasips and Oakies. Aye! (Flames cheerfully ignored 😉 Finally, Philip might also soon be adding yet another high profile drumming gig to his growing resume, as he and we await the 2003 return of the Old 97’s. More on that if and when it develops.

Finally, it’s time for Old 97’s, celebrity chef trivia. Question one: “Which 97 is helping out an old friend – one who’s new to the restaurant biz – by serving for as a few hours on one day a week as his celebrity chef?” Get hungry, and stay tuned for round two.