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

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