Listen: Beat Connection – “The Palace Garden, 4am”

I saw the original Footloose movie in the ’80s. Letting kids dance is bad … BAD … it leads to fornication and the destruction of American values … or something like that. If that’s the case, then Beat Connection might as well be Satan.

There’s a lot to love in this track – the chirpy keyboards, the shakers, the Vampire Weekend-ish-like vocals (which, are sort of like Paul Simon-ish vocals), the shaky-shaky-shimmer-shimmer guitars. If you turned the (sort of) title track from The Palace Gardens into candy, you’d have a bag of Pop Rocks ready to jump around in your mouth.

Beat Connection will be on the road the rest of June and most of July.

6/18 – Phoenix, AZ – Rhythm Room*
6/20 – Dallas, TX – La Grange
6/21 – Austin, TX – Red 7
6/22 – Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s
6/23 – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
6/26 – Tampa, FL – The Orpheum
6/27 – Miami, FL – Bardot
6/28 – Orlando, FL – Will’s Pub
6/29 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade – Hell
6/30 – Raleigh, NC – Kings Barcade
7/01 – Washington DC – DC9
7/03 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
7/04 – New Haven, CT – Bar Night Club
7/05 – Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory
7/06 – Cambridge, MA – TT the Bears
7/07 – Montreal, QC – Il Motore
7/08 – Toronto, ON – Drake Hotel
7/10 – Pittsburgh, PA – Brillobox
7/11 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
7/12 – Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern
7/13 – Detroit, MI – Majestic Cafe
7/14 – Milwaukee, WI – The Cactus Club
7/15 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
7/17 – Denver, CO – Hi Dive
7/18 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
7/19 – Boise, ID – Reef Boise
7/22 – Vancouver, BC – Media Club

* w/ MMOTHS & White Arrows

Mike Doughty’s reading/singing/Q&A tour

One of my favorite guest appearances ever is (ex-Soul Coughing) Mike Doughty’s vocal contribution on BT’s “Never Gonna Come Back Down”.

On Feb.1, Doughty put out a memoir of addiction and recovery, called The Book of Drugs and will embark on a tour this month in which he’ll perform music, read from his book, and conduct a question-and-answer session.

Here are the dates:

Mar 3 — New York, NY — City Winery
Mar 14 — New York, NY — McNally Jackson Books *
Mar 16 — Brooklyn, NY — Book Court *
Mar 22 — Evanston, IL — The Space
Mar 23 — Rosemont, IL — The Montrose Room
Mar 24 — Minneapolis, MN — Women’s Club of Minneapolis
Mar 25 — Milwaukee, WI — Boswell Book Company *
Mar 25 — Milwaukee, WI — Shank Hall
Mar 27 — Omaha, NE — The Waiting Room Lounge
Mar 28 — Ames, IA — The Maintenance Shop @ Iowa State
Mar 29 — Iowa City, IA — The Mill
Mar 30 — Springfield, IL — Legacy Theatre
Mar 31 — Kansas City, MO — Knuckleheads Saloon
Apr 1 — Boulder, CO — Fox Theatre
Apr 5 — Vancouver, BC — Media Club
Apr 6 — Portland, OR — Mississippi Studios
Apr 7 — Seattle, WA — Elliott Bay Book Company *
Apr 7 — Seattle, WA — Triple Door
Apr 10 — San Francisco, CA — Swedish American Hall
Apr 11 — Los Angeles, CA — Book Soup *
Apr 11 — Los Angeles, CA — Bootleg Theatre
Apr 12 — San Juan Capistrano, CA — The Coach House
Apr 13 — San Diego, CA — Anthology
Apr 14 — Phoenix, AZ — Zia Records *
Apr 14 — Phoenix, AZ — Cave Creek Coffee Company
Apr 21 — New York, NY — City Winery
May 2 — Burlington, VT — Higher Ground Showcase
May 3 — Providence, RI — The Met
May 5 — Boston, MA — Regatta Bar (2 shows)
May 6 — Philadelphia, PA — Sellersville Theatre
May 8 — Alexandria, VA — The Birchmere
May 9 — Annapolis, MD — Ram’s Head On Stage
May 10 — Charlottesville, VA — The Southern
May 11 — Durham, NC — The Casbah
May 12 — Knoxville, TN — The Square Room
May 15 — Indianapolis, IN — Irving Theatre
May 16 — Columbus, OH — Ace of Cups
May 17 — Buffalo, NY — Asbury Hall @ Babeville
May 18 — Hoboken, NJ — Maxwell’s
May 19 — Westampton, NY — Westhampton Performing Arts Center

* Bookstore events

Listen: Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker, Yim Yames record songs based on Woody Guthrie lyrics

Did you know about this? I just read a 3-star review of the New Multitudes CD – a collection of songs built upon unrecorded Woody Guthrie lyrics by Jay Farrar (Son Volt), Will Johnson (Centro-matic), Anders Parker (Varnaline), Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket) – in the new issue (Paul McCartney-cover) of Rolling Stone. The magazine’s website did a feature on the release which one person commented, probably rightfully so, “Wasn’t this album called Mermaid Avenue?”

I’m snagging this from Facebook because it explains the project better than I can:

New Multitudes is an intimate interpretation of American icon and musical legend Woody Guthrie’s previously unrecorded lyrics from a dream team of Americana torchbearers: Jay Farrar (Son Volt), Will Johnson (Centro-matic), Anders Parker (Varnaline), and Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket). What makes this album such a rarity in today’s music world is the allowance of the songs’ infectious simplicity to stand alone in all their glory. In doing so, Farrar, Johnson, Parker, and Yames have paid the greatest compliment to Woody Guthrie and the collaborative spirit he so greatly embodied. This is an album which seamlessly converges the sepia-toned essence of the time honored past with the risks needed to forge the future.

There’s a small handful of tour dates scheduled to promote the release of New Multitudes.

Video/tour – Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Quirky song. ’70s-inspired video (shades of The Beastie Boys “Sabotage” if you ask me). It’s the latest video by Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the Portland-by-way-of-New-Zealand outfit led by Ruban Nielson. “Strangers are Strange” can be found on UMO’s June 2011 self-titled Fat Possum Records release.

Read Kevin Elliott’s interview from July 2011 with Unknown Mortal Orchestra at The Agit Reader.

February and March 2012 tour dates

02/24 San Francisco, CA Clift Hotel
02/25 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex*
02/26 Santa Monica, CA The Central*
02/27 San Luis Obispo, CA SLO Brew*
02/28 Visalia, CA Cellar Door*
03/01 Santa Cruz, CA Coconut Grove Ballroom#
03/02 San Diego, CA Birch North Park Theatre#
03/04 Vail, CO Snowball Music Festival
03/05 Albuquerque, NM Launchpad#
03/07 San Antonio, TX White Rabbit#
03/08 Austin, TX La Zona Rosa#
03/09 Dallas, TX Granada Theatre#
03/10 Monterrey, Mexico Festival NRMAL#
03/12 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack’s#
03/13 Houston, TX Fitzgerald’s#
03/14 Austin, TX SXSW
03/16 Denver, CO Gothic Theatre#
03/17 Salt Lake City, UT In The Venue#
03/18 Reno, NV Cargo#
05/26 George, WA Sasquatch Festival

* = w/ White Arrows
# = w/ Girls