Archive for May, 2008

In case you didn’t catch it in the clip Frank posted from the appearance on Austin’s FOX morning show, the boys have been added to the roster for this year’s ACL Fest in Austin. Check it out.

It’s a little later in the month this year — September 26-28 — so maybe the heat won’t be SO bad. The full schedule comes out June 3rd.
This will be the Old 97’s 3rd time to play the Fest. If you’ve never caught them at an ACL Fest before, it’s something to see. The relative shortness of the set is balanced by the intensity of playing in front of so many thousand people. In other words, they bring it.
The Foo Fighters, Beck, Drive-By Truckers and all the other artists playing this year are going to have to turn it up a notch to keep up.

All right, the main thing in this brief update is that we got a load of new tour dates. Check ’em out! But also, check out the latest bunch of reviews, here, here, and here. Also, Billboard loves BIOG so much they’re offering up two reviews, one in-house, and the other from the folks All Music Guide. That one, as it turns out, is my new favorite review of Blame It On Gravity.

And as a palette-cleansing, after-review sorbet, how ’bout a couple of videos? First up is the guys on TV in Austin last week. And we’ll close with this great clip of Murry and his wife, Grey DeLisle, in lovely, home-movie harmony. More soon! – frank

Man do we have a full slate today. First up, this urgent request: The Old 97’s will be in Hollywood this Sunday, May 18, to shoot their video for “Dance With Me,” and they’d like YOU to be an extra in it. If you’re interested and at least 18 years old, please write here for details:

Old97scasting AT gmail DOT com

It’s a great chance to peak behind the scenes of a Hollywood shoot, and more importantly, to support the guys. So thanks in advance to all you Left Coast fans who have some free time for a fun cause this weekend!

The video is being helmed by long-time acquaintance of the band (and in-law to one too, IIRC) Keven McAlester, who also shot that great 2005 video for “In The Satellite Rides A Star”, and the video for most haunting song off Rhett’s 2006 Believer album, “Fireflies,” with Rachael Yamagata.

And that’s not all! The morning after their packed and raucous release party (and yes, the band played played a short acoustic set, opened by the Ranchero Brothers) the guys blew up the nice new hi-def set of the Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV, with smoking, 9am takes “Dance With Me” and “No Baby I” (click here for a high-quality vid of just the “Dance With Me” segment.) Better still might be this oddly charming video of the guys playing “Dance,” Ranchero-style, at the front entrance of the Marquita Court apartments in Dallas, where Ken, Rhett, and Murry were living when they formed the Old 97’s. And check out the Ken dance! The band also brought the Dallas Stars a shot of much-needed luck, as the Stars finally managed to pull out a victory against the hated Red Wings, on a night when the Old 97’s graced the stage outside and the players’ bench inside of the American Airlines Center.

And of course we have a ton of great new reviews of BIOG in places ranging from USA Today to the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, and from The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal to Louisville’s Velocity Magazine. There’s this nice nod from the gang at Slacker Country in this week’s Pegasus News, and one from the folks at Country Standard Time, plus one in Chicago’s PopMatters, The Dallas Morning News, Paste Magazine, Toronto’s Now Magazine, and The New Yorker. And that’s just in two days since its release!

There are also some great new feature stories in the Dallas Observer, and Dallas Morning News, and don’t miss these wonderfully evocative behind-the-scenes photos of the band during the recording of BIOG, snapped by Rip Rowan, on whom the guys have lavished praise for his engineering, mixing, and keyboard work on BIOG.

Have we mentioned Tour Dates yet? The guys have announced the next round of dates on the their big summer tour, this batch kicking off July 18 at the historic Floore’s Country Store in Helotes, Texas, on the outskirts of San Antonio. Some of the others:

7/18: Floore’s Country Store – Helotes, Texas
7/19: House Of Blues – New Orleans, Louisiana
7/21: WorkPlay Theatre – Birmingham, Alabama
7/22: Variety Playhouse – Atlanta, Georgia
7/23: Mercy Lounge – Nashville, Tennessee
7/25: The Visulite Theatre – Charlotte, North Carolina
7/26: Moore Square Park – Raleigh, North Carolina
7/31: Bottle & Cork – Dewey Beach, Delaware

And finally, don’t forget about Murry’s amazing new album, I Don’t Know Where I’m Going But I’m On My Way, which has started garnering its own set of raves, all of which you can catch on HBAT’s “On My Way” page.

Whew, my fingers are tired. Now go play, but check back soon! – frank

It was a packed house Tuesday night at the Granada listening party for Blame It On Gravity. They handed out posters and a sticker. Be sure and look for those at their up coming in-stores. Rhett and Murry played three songs. Then they talked Ken and Philip, sans drums, to play another four songs. After their surprise performance they stayed and signed for a couple of hours.

Thanks to Dr David for for his recording of the boys playing on Good Morning Texas. They played “Dance With Me” and “No Baby I”.

~ michael

So if you’re in Jonesboro, Arkansas, next week (5/13 – 5/17) for Blame It On Gravity’s release, what could be better than settling down with your new CD over a cold beer or three, and a free pizza. Free pizza? Well yes, as the folks at Jonesboro’s Papa Cella’s pizza are such big Old 97’s fans that they’re offering a free medium pie to anyone who can show proof of purchasing BIOG. Now that’s what I call street teaming. So bon appetite, and happy listening!

But be advised that if you’re holding out for one of the vinyl copies of BIOG, those are now not set to hit the shelves until June 3. (Hey, it ain’t easy to find LP pressing plants these days!) Also, if you happen to visit BIOG’s Amazon.com page, be sure to check out the “exclusive performance of ‘Dance With Me’ recorded at the ME-TV studios” in Austin during SXSW. And speaking of great performances, I’d mentioned that I thought the band’s 4/24 Tonight Show spot was their best sounding since their 1998 Austin City Limits gig. I was wrong. Having finally gotten home to see and hear it in HD and Dolby 5.1, I can say that it was far and away their best and tightest sounding televised performance ever. Wow.

And in case you haven’t dropped by lately, the Old 97’s MySpace page, now has two early-favorite BIOG tracks, “My Two Feet,” and “Color Of A Lonely Heart Is Blue,” available for your listening please. You’ll also notice some spring cleaning going on over there, with a good looking new layout. And speaking of, the band’s official website will also be stylin’ a new paint job next week. I’ve seen it and it looks great. But better still, at the same time old97s.com will also be rolling out the band’s first-ever, official fan forum. I’ll be there, and hope to see you there too.

Somewhere else I’d like to see you, but probably won’t (damn the man!) is the BIOG CD release party, on Tuesday May 13 at the Granada Theater in Dallas. It’s a free, album-listening and CD signing shindig with the guys, but I’m noticing something interesting at the bottom of ads promoting the event: “Secret Surprise Live Guest Performance!” Hmm.

And if you’re watching the NHL Western Conference Finals next Wednesday (Go Stars!) keep an eye peeled for the band, as the Dallas Morning News notes that “former Stars season-ticker holders, the Old 97’s, will be performing before Wednesday’s Game 4 on the Plaza and between periods.”

Finally, don’t forget to stop by HBAT’s Blame It On Gravity page, where were keeping up with all the news and reviews for BIOG, much of which gets posted there first! So check it out and check back soon. Cheers – frank

Check out the June issue of Paste for a glowing review of Blame It On Gravity — the first I’ve seen in print. “The songwriting, as always, is top notch. But the band’s secret weapon has always been Ken Bethea’s Telecaster. He’s back in a big way, playing all the right notes and stomping all over them… he nails it every time.” Yep, sounds about right.

-jefe

Old 97'sSo last night, while returning to Texas from a few days of vacation, I dialed up an NPR podcast on the iPod and flipped open the in-flight magazine. Combined with the afterglow of a lovely Hakutsuru sake from an airport Japanese restaurant, the combined effect should have been akin to swallowing a half bottle of Valium. Or so I’m told. Or at least I’m told it would have been, had I not been jolted wide-awake when I stumbled upon the music section of the new, May 1 issue of the American Way magazine, and its rather nice profile of the Old 97’s, including terrific feature photo, and a chat with Rhett and Murry.

I was struck by something Murry said in the interview: “The one thing that’s consistent with our audience is that they’re all real music fans. I mean, you don’t really even find a band like us to begin with unless your record collection is probably a little bit bigger than your neighbor’s.” Boy, is that ever the truth. [cue the shelf of CD’s groaning the background] So anyhow, it also leads to the obvious conclusion that if you are visiting this site, you are a fan of the Old 97’s. And we fans of the 97’s are known for our, well… cult-like devotion “enthusiasm.” Take this quiz: Have you included Old 97’s cuts on compilations for family members, burned Old 97’s mixes for friends, or dragged unsuspecting acquaintances along to Old 97’s shows? I thought so.

That means that, like it or not, we are on the Old 97’s street team, and kudos to the band, they’re finally going to make it official. So here’s your chance to add your name to the list. Just click the link, sign up, and help out. And maybe get some cool acknowledgment for you efforts. Thanks!

And speaking of something for fans, right now, you can pre-order both the Blame It On Gravity CD or the limited edition CD/DVD combo, signed by all four the guys directly from Newbury Comics.

Also, Amazon finally has up their link for ordering a copy of Murry’s CD I Don’t Know Where I’m Going But I’m On My Way, so get your copy today! In addition, HBAT finally has our own page up dedicated to IDKWIGBIOMW, and you can check that out here.

Finally, back to goodies for fans. I’d say you’ve waited long enough to hear Blame It On Gravity, wouldn’t you? So beginning this Tuesday May 6th, you can hear the complete album, which BTW will be available in vinyl, complete and streaming via Rhapsody.com. Think of it as sort of a “fans world premier.” Now go tell your friends, and check back soon! Cheers – frank