Archive for December, 2006

Hey kids, here’s one last pre-Christmas post to warm the cockles of yer frozen hearts. It’s about that long-lost 1995 Christmas compilation to which the Old 97’s contributed a couple of tracks, Honkey-Tonk Holidays. I couldn’t agree more with the post’s author, Robert Wilonsky, that “Rhett Miller has a voice made for Christmas carols.”

Plus, Wilonksy’s got a link for you to download an MP3 of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”! If you just have to have the CD – and since nearly every track’s a winner, who can blame you? – I actually saw, for the first time in years, a single unopened copy on a store’s shelves, at Dallas’ CD World, just a couple of weeks ago!

So ho, ho, ho, and Merry Christmas one and all!

Ho ho ho y’all! So there ain’t a ton of news, but what’s there is cherse! (Free Wreck Your Life poster to the first one who can name the reference, without Googling. And don’t fib – it’s the Baby Jesus’ birthday!) And speaking of, the 97’s MySpace page has the band’s two great Christmas cuts up for your holiday listening pleasure, “Holly Jolly Christmas,” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” While Rhett also has an absolute knockout, sob-in-yer-‘nog original up on his MySpace page, called “Here It Is Christmas.” Makes me hope the guys don’t wait too long to make that holiday album they’d threatened to make this year!

Rhett also has a short story, called “I Got You,” up on the literary site, Check it out! Then on the 21st of this month Rhett joins Teddy Thompson and others at the Living Room in NYC for a show benefiting the Save Darfur campaign. It’s good music for a great cause, and we have more details and loads of new dates from Rhett and I Love Math up in the Tour Dates section.

Which reminds me: I Love Math and Rhett Miller each contribute original tracks to a campaign fundraiser for the Dallas mayoral campaign of Zac Crain, and whether you can vote in Dallas or not, this is one amazingly good track list.

Now here’s a test: What band is this?

They “have an avant-garde stage show, and are seemingly influenced by visual sickies like Dino Lee and the White Trash Revue, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. The music? “It’s sick, white noise,” (Dallas music impresario Jeff) Liles laughs. “Howling and ranting and raving on top of a wall of feedback. A typical night onstage is the drummer coming out and pounding out a hypnotic beat on the tom-toms, followed by a wall of piercing feedback, then someone tips over the lava-lamp… they get down on their knees onstage, and the audience gets up and sits on the stage with ’em. Their songs are like four or five minutes each, with hypnotic, repetitive beats. You can only handle about 10 or 15 minutes of it at a time, but it’s pure, sick pleasure.”

Give up?

It’s the late, great Peyote Cowboys of Dallas, Texas, whose primary songwriter, Murry Hammond, when the Old 97’s are not in session, these days plays old-time gospel most Wednesday evenings at the First Christian Church of Burbank, California. And who’s about to become a daddy first the first time. Which is all just more proof – at least for me – that God has a sense of humor. Check out the Peyote Cowboys, a few of their songs, and some great old photos on their MySpace page at

Finally, since this is the Old 97’s website, we gotta have at least a few bits of band news. First, while I’d heard of these guys a couple of years back, I’d never heard the song itself. Imagine the Go-Go’s name-checking the Old 97’s and you’ll get the idea of catchy-like-a-cold “You Dance Bad” by Palomar. Neat huh? Unfortunately further investigation reveals that it was penned by Palomar lead-singer Rachel Warren as a kiss-off to an ex-boyfriend who she says, “used to always get drunk and make me slow dance with him to the Old 97’s.” So guys, don’t be a tool. Unless you want her to hate the band, don’t get drunk and force your girlfriend slow-dance to the Old 97’s. Unless of course she’ll write a tune as cool as this one, and then… well… sometimes a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do.

I’m kidding. Really. Just playing on the same stereotype as Ms. Warren is all.

So, Desert Island discs. Everybody’s got their own, though some people’s lists get a little more play than others. Here’s a list of eight discs that include the likes of The Beatles, Springsteen, Dylan, and The Pretenders. Oh, and the Old 97’s. The list-maker is one Stephen King, who I understand is some sort of modestly-selling author, and his selections were spun in late November on BBC Radio 4.

So there you go. Again, don’t forget to check out the new Rhett Miller and I Love Math dates, and know that when there is news on Old 97’s, we’ll have it here ASAP. Look for that to happen sometime early in what everyone in the Old 97’s family hopes will be a Safe and Happy 2007 for you and yours. Happy Holidays!