Archive for December, 2007

I suppose I’m long overdue to make my first post here at HBAT. After all, Frank showed me which mat the key is under weeks ago. Of course, it helps to have something to say — and what better subject than a live show review, AND some insider info on the upcoming Old 97’s album?

The boys played to a packed house at La Zona Rosa in Austin this past Saturday. The set list was heavy on the rock, and the banter was minimal. The crowd was a little tame for an Austin show, with the exception of a rowdy crew up front, Murry-side. (It’s one thing to pogo through “Timebomb;” it’s another to, um, mosh. I highly recommend it.) It was everything we’ve come to expect from an Old 97’s show — strings were broken, booties were shaken, leaps were leapen.

There was one new song on the original set list: “Dance With Me,” which debuted at the recent memorial show for Carter in Dallas. A rollicking, happy tune that showcases more of the surf guitar chops Ken revealed in “Smokers.” Thereafter, Ken was supposed to sing “Coahuila.” Instead he stepped up to the mic and called for another new song, to everyone’s surprise (particularly Rhett’s ;]). I didn’t catch the name, but it was another rocker, and has me eagerly anticipating the new album even more.

I actually spoke to Ken a bit before the show about just that, and let me tell you, he is PUMPED. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him so enthused about an upcoming album. He compared the recording process to that of Too Far To Care, and he compared the overall sound to that of the Clash’s London Calling. He was extremely complimentary of the songwriting this time around, saying it’s the best batch of songs they’ve had to work with in years. You could tell he’s had a good time in the studio, and I expect the guitar work on this one to really crank things up a notch.

You lucky folks going to the Dallas show tonight, have fun! I am jealous. -jeff

So, you want the good news or bad news first? Yeah, me too, give me the bad first every time. So here goes: The new Old 97’s album, rumored for release in February, is now looking to be on store shelves in April. Yeah, I know.

But the good? Well, in recent posting on his MySpace and RhettMiller.com blogs, Rhett note’s he’s got “Here It Is Christmas Time” streaming, and “Meteor Shower” and “World Inside The World” available as free downloads on his MySpace page. In bigger news, Rhett has this to say about the Old 97’s album:

I have been in the studio with the 97’s for the last three months and we are a couple of weeks away from finishing what promises to be our best album in ten years, if not ever. We are working in Dallas’ Pleasantry Lane Studios with Salim Nourallah producing. Sonically, the album is dense and rich. It rocks as much as anything we have ever done.

I will understand if you are skeptical about the truth of the preceding claims. You have heard a lot of musicians go on about how each album is their best yet (if not THE best yet), but when you finally hear our new record you will remember these words and realize that I was not merely trafficking in hyperbole for the sake of hype. This record has me jazzed.

And you know what? I don’t remember Rhett ever talking like that about how good an upcoming album will be.

If he’s jazzed, well so am I. Intrigued too, and ready for April. But first things first: Here’s wishing y’all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Safe and Peaceful New Year! – frank

Hi Everybody! Well the new old97s.com site went live early this morning. Make sure to check it out, and don’t forget to adjust your bookmarks, as both old97s.com and hitbyatrain.com will be frequently updated with late-breaking Old 97’s news and features! Also, those of us on the current Old 97’s mailing list really ought to get on over to the new list and update our info, as official mailing list members will now have the opportunity to get in on ticket pre-sales and on other breaking news before it’s released to the general public. And if you’re not on the Old 97’s official mailing list yet, why not sign up today? I have.

Her It Is Christmas TimeIn other big news, the new holiday single from Old 97’s is out today on iTunes. “Here It Is Christmas Time” is the name, iTunes users can get it here, and everyone can check it out streaming at the Old 97’s iLike page and MySpace page (which also features the guys on “Holly Jolly Christmas”).

And don’t forget to check the Tour Dates page as we’ve got a bunch of new Rhett solo dates, including links for pre-sale tickets. Finally, those Old 97’s NYE tickets are going fast, so get yours today!frank