Yep Roc/Red Eye upcoming local artist releases
Yep Roc Records will rerelease Unity Lodge by Johnny Irion (formerly of Queen Sarah Saturday) on May 21. Besides his solo work, Irion plays the Triangle now and then as a duo with his wife, Sarah Lee Guthrie (Arlo's daughter). Yep Roc also has new releases planned for Mayflies USA, Two Dollar Pistols and the a new solo album from producer/former dB Chris Stamey. Yep Roc's new sister label, the Red Eye imprint, just signed their second act, Knoxville tour dogs Grand Torino, not a surprising choice in light of Red Eye's first signing, area non-indie rockers Weekend Excursion.
In other local band news, Yep Roc artists The Comas are negotiating with an English label or labels (no, they won't say who) for their next album. After cutting new tracks with A Def Needle in Tomorrow producer Brian Paulson, it seems that the band, specifically songwriter/frontman Andy Herod, has gone back to do more work on the tapes in anticipation of the new deal. The new album is tentatively titled Mapping the Shores of Their Arrogant Dreams, inspired by a deam of Herod's.
Ryan Adam's butt
Triangle residents--especially anyone who either played in Whiskeytown or gave his non-drivin' self a lift somewhere--will be happy to know that a recent British eBay auction featuring a cigarette butt that had been puffed on by none other than Ryan Adams went for a mere $3.19 (when converted to U.S. currency). In other Adams stories, our boy showed up with a bandaged chin for the recent taping of the tribute to Willie Nelson, where he shared the stage with the likes of Willie, Keith Richards and Hank III for a version of "Dead Flowers." Adams told Allstar Daily News that he "got in a fight with some asshole," after which he swung, hit a park bench and "busted my chin open." But a patron at Nashville's Slow Bar, a musicians' hangout, said that Adams was partying there the night before the taping and--in a drunken stupor--took a dive into the drum kit thus clobbering himself on the chin. No Depression editor Peter Blackstock heard this version from two different sources, but the Indy was unable to confirm with the Slow Bar by press time. And, Adams was recently called on his claim to have recorded an entire version of The Strokes' album when British rock rag NME told him they'd be happy to release the tapes, at which point Ryan's manager fessed up that the recordings do not, in fact, exist.
Only tiny drugs, please
Alltel Pavilion management, in anticipation of the summer concert season, have enacted a "no back-pack, no large bag" policy that kicked in for last week's Jimmy Buffett concert as part of the venue's new safety measures. No word on if any of the Parrotheads attending the show were seriously inconvenienced.
The Mammoth that crawled to NYC to die
Former Mammoth Records employees weren't surprised to hear that the "new" Mammoth (located in NYC) seems to finally be extinct. Says Seven Mary Three's Jason Ross, now a Chapel Hill resident: "Here's what it means for artists: Calls are being made to managers and artists assuring them that everything is going to be OK. In my experience that means you are pretty much fucked." (Ross says his band started a pool last October on when the label would fold.) Any bands that Hollywood Records deems worth keeping--Los Lobos for example--will be re-absorbed back into Hollywood's roster, with Mammoth just being a letterhead label at Hollywood. Ross says 7M3 are in good shape if they do get their walking papers, having already received part of their recording advance for another album. For now, Ross is enjoying his home studio (where The Comas' John Harrison is recording songs for a side project) and checking out rock shows.
Rock and roll radio
Bats and Mice, featuring our own Ben Davis, have been doing a lot of weekend tours up and down the East Coast since their new Lovitt Records release. While in D.C., they were interviewed on XM radio, a 100-channel, satellite radio outfit (no FCC regulations) that listeners can subscribe to for $9 a month. Says Davis, XM is housed in a "mind-blowing building" with 82 state-of-the-art, on-air broadcast studios and 20 audio production studios (two studios for full band, on-air concerts with video hook-up to produce videos of the performances). While Bats and Mice were being interviewed, the Chemical Brothers were in the next studio, Andrew W.K. had just been there and Willie Nelson was scheduled for the following day. "They treated us with as much respect as if we were big rock stars--the interviewer did her research," Davis says.
Sunday alt-rock music series
Durham Avid Video store owner/manager Jason Jordan decided to start booking Sunday nights at The Basement in Durham to provide a venue for local bands. While Basement booker Boo Kaufman has brought in a variety of music to the space, his focus has been on alt-country. Jordan says it was his friendship with one of the club's lessees, John Chesson, that got him interested. "I happen to be in a position where a lot of people that come in [to Avid Video] are in bands, or know people in bands--our inventory tends to be a little more interesting," he says, adding that the store's proximity to the club--it's less than a mile away--also makes it handy. The local band nights have been such a success that Jordan is also booking some Friday shows. Upcoming shows include a Sunday night with Choose Your Own Adventure and Rosabegosa, and a Friday night featuring The Sames, Piedmont Charisma and Razzle. Also look for gigs by the Mayflies USA (paired with Tallahassee noise band The Bark, The Bite), and a Jett Rink/Roxotica gig. Shows start at 9 or 10 p.m.