Archive for October, 2006

Man, the last several years have seen this site yammering on about baby this, and baby that, as the Old 97’s have continued to crank out those new 97’s. Well we first got wind back in August, and got the details today, on still another baby story; and because the 97’s have those babies, this one’s all about baby back, baby back, baby back ribs. Yep. You mean you haven’t noticed familiar guitars and friendly voices popping out of TV screens lately in catchy, jangly, thirty second bits? Read on, and absolutely don’t miss the 11 minute .mp3 interview with Ken. (You want a short recap of news from that interview? We’re looking at forty Old 97’s shows in 2007, with work on new songs commencing during the tours, and a new CD most likely in early 2008.) And don’t forget to check out the spot yourself, and a great demo for “Brown Haired Daughter” over at the Old 97’s MySpace page.

You might also notice a familiar voice on the theme song of the new NBC comedy Twenty Good Years (with Arrested Development‘s Jeff Tambor), as Rhett and The Believers hit the studio in August to record the Rhett-penned opening tune.

Finally, sharp-eared viewers may also have caught the dulcet tones of “Timebomb” featured last week in the new ABC drama, What About Brian, while just this week, NBC’s Today Show used “King Of All The World” in a piece about the 2006 Quill Awards.

So for those of you keeping score at home, let’s recap:

Commercials: 4 (Rhett’s cover of Paul Simon’s “Homeward Bound” for MasterCard, the Chili’s spot by the Old 97’s, the Shiner Beer campaign featuring Rhett and the band, and the EA Sports/Madden NFL ad with the Old 97’s “Question”)
Theme Songs: 2 (Rhett’s Twenty Good Years theme, and “Lost Along The Way,” the Old 97’s theme to the late Showtime series Goin’ To California)
Number of Old 97’s songs licensed and used by movies, TV shows, news spots, and sports teams-venues-broadcasters: Too many to count.
Income: It’s a good thing; just ask someone without it.

Now if you’ve got some income you’d like to share, here’s a good cause: Zac Crain for Mayor of Dallas. Zac, you may recall, is the former music editor of the Dallas Observer, and Zac’s friends, including Rhett Miller, Polyphonic Spree guru Tim DeLaughter, Ben Kweller, Pikahsso, Pleasant Grove, Peter Schmidt (ex of Three on a Hill, Funland and Legendary Crystal Chandelier) and His Gentlemen Scholars, Sorta, Salim Nourallah, Saboteur, and others have each contributed tracks for an upcoming compilation CD to benefit the Crain campaign. The disc should hit shelves in December (the Dallas mayoral election is not until next Spring) and details on its release will be found at the Crain campaign website. Check it out!

So you need a 97’s video fix? Thanks to the folks at Bloodshot, we’ve got this vintage 97’s performance of “Over The Cliff” at Chicago’s Lounge Axe, and it’s just one of many from the new Bloodshot DVD, Bloodied But Unbowed. Don’t miss it. Also check out part one of this great Rhett Miller interview from 2004, and the Drag It Up tour, and part two, a nifty solo-acoustic version of “The New Kid.”

Finally in the video department, two of my favorite wordsmiths ever are Rhett Miller, whom you know, and Tom Wolfe, author of, among others, Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and a personal favorite, From Bauhaus to Our House, Wolfe’s hysterically devastating critique of modern American architecture. Last year he released his latest novel, the mega-selling I Am Charlotte Simmons, and it was a huge kick to learn that Rhett had interviewed Wolfe just before the release of I.A.C.S, Now you can see that interview here. Man. If only John Lydon had interviewed Frank Sinatra, I could have called my life complete.

And speaking of Rhett writing, most of us had probably seen the band bio Rhett penned last fall for the release of Alive & Wired. Well recently, New West posted an expanded version, with some info I’d never even seen on the origins of the band, the name, and how it may have affected their fortunes over the years. Good stuff. And I’ve also got some new Rhett dates going up in the morning, so make sure to check for those too.

You know, one of the up-and-downsides of keeping up with breaking acts is Pitchfork. For all their good work, God bless their pointy little heads, in years past they’ve had some snotty things to say about the Old 97’s, so much so that I long ago gave up on seeing improvement in that particular musical blind-spot of theirs. So imagine my surprise to learn that Pitchfork actually liked Alive & Wired and Hit By A Train. Wonders never cease. While you’re at it, check out this new review of the Old 97’s Live DVD.

Now what do you mean you missed the mini-tour? How was it? What, are you kidding me? IT KICKED ASS.