Archive for November, 2002

Exene Cervenka was of course the frontwoman for L.A. punk legends, X. These days, she fronts the punkabilly Original Sinners, and has asked an old friend from the Old 97’s to serve as guitarist for a few dates. That’s why come December, Mr. Ken Bethea is going to California as the lead guitarist for the Original Sinners. As of now, Ken’s dates with the Sinners are as follows: 12/13 @ Doll Hut in Orange County (Anaheim?); 12/14 @ San Diego (venue TBA); 12/15 @ The Troubadour in Hollywood. Check ’em out!

Crowded House internet message boards are reporting that Rhett will be opening for former Crowded House frontman Neil Finn on the January and February legs of a US tour. Now that would be one outstanding bill of smart, melodic, pop! (As of now, those rumors are official! – f.e.) Also, if you get a chance, check out a nifty video interview with Rhett on the Canadian music website, Umbrella Music. In it, Rhett discusses what the interviewer calls the “Tiger Beat” cover for The Instigator, and which Rhett defends instead as “creepy.” You make the call!

Hello everybody –

Murry from the band here – wanted to let y’all know about something pretty neat:

Our favorite little roots music venue in the world, the Sons of Hermann Hall in Dallas, is putting together a CD of local Dallas music to help pay for an elevator for the upstairs concert room. Those of you who have ever had to lug anything up their story-and-a-half fire-escape stairs will sympathize with this project, which is why the Old 97’s have donated a track. The song is called “Ivy’s Got A Boyfriend (Problem)” and is from the earliest live recording we’ve ever heard of ourselves, a live set at Chumley’s in Dallas in 1994. As soon as the Sons’ folks let me know how you can get the CD, I’ll get it posted on here, and you can also keep an eye on their website at www.sonsofhermann.com …

We’re good – itching to get back to it, but good. Hope y’all are good, too.

–Murry

Remember 120 Minutes on MTV? That cool Sunday night show, where for at least two hours a week, MTV and good music were on speaking terms again? It shouldn’t be any surprise that in its headlong rush to remake itself into as a 24/7 boy-band and hip-hop party palace, peopled by gabby, grabby, self-absorbed wannabes, MTV has stopped playing music altogether. Well maybe not entirely. See 120 Minutes is still kicking over on MTV’s sister network, MTV2, which in spite of – OK maybe even because of – its name (remember? MTV = music television?) – still plays music. And this Sunday night, November 17, Rhett Miller is hosting 120 Minutes. Check it out.

How do he do it? I dunno, but 97’s drummer Philip Peeples has himself committed to play in THREE shows this Friday evening, November 15. At 10pm or so, Mr. Ken Bethea’s band, The Scrap Hotel, (with one Philip Peeples on drums) plays a brief set at Dallas’ Club Dada as part of the 2002 North Texas New Music Festival. Then at 11:30, Philip retakes the same stage to handle skins for the Deathray Davies acoustic alter-ego, I Love Math. Finally, both Ken and Philip race north on Central Expressway to their post-midnight gig by Scrap Hotel at the Barley House. Man, I smell a late night coming on. Or speeding tickets. Or both.

Early this afternoon, Rhett discovered that he will be the musical guest this Friday night on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. So set those VCR’s! P.S. – So several hours after I made this post, I discovered that the news and tourdates pages were MIA. And when I attempted to upload them again, discovered that HBAT’s web-hosting firm (Icom.com, a division of Interland. If you ever sign up with this outfit, it proves you’re nothing but a trouble-grubbing masochist.) mistakenly believed that the site had suddenly exceeded its “disk quota,” or size limit. Until this problem is fixed, any page I attempt to upload here will fail. Sorry about that kids. Just take it from me, avoid Icom.com and Interland Web Hosting like a crazed, falafel-mongering shoe-bomber runs from a degreed woman. In a halter top. OK, so maybe that ain’t the greatest analogy, but you get the idea. They’re bad. Oh yeah, Rhett sounded *great* last night!

So it looks like the Old 97’s will be renewing their old tradition of New Years concerts, with two tentatively scheduled in the DFW area. Check out the “Tourdates” page and check back soon for confirmations. Also, you’ve no doubt noticed the recent proliferation of musical webcasts. For whatever reason (My guess? It’s the crappy facilities in underequipped IT departments, and the inherent bandwidth limitations on streaming audio and video.) the audio quality of these things often just blows. But back in August, Rhett cut an in-studio session for AOL’s music webcast Sessions@AOL, and man oh man, at least on my computer, the sound quality is awesome. Rhett plays, “Come Around,” “Our Love,” “This Is What I Do.” In addition, there’s an in-studio interview, links to Rhett’s “Come Around” video, and the ability to check out the session in either dial-up or broadband speeds. Check it out here.