Interview: Alex Dezen of The Damnwells

Last year around this time, Alex Dezen of The Damnwells wrote on the band’s MySpace blog that he was busy recording some new songs in Mississippi with the band’s former manager Wes Kidd (ex-Triple Fast Action) overseeing things. With the depatures of drummer Steven Terry and guitarist Dave Chernis, and with bassist Ted Hudson seemingly giving up the rock n’ roll lifestyle for a paying career,  it seemed as if the music Dezen was recording was destined to be a solo album. But, as Dezen told me earlier tonight, there never really was the thought of releasing the stuff he had been recording under just his name. Regardless of who is playing in the band and/or contributing to the songs, it’ll always be The Damnwells in name.

It came as a shock then to learn just a few short weeks ago that The Damnwells were going to forgo the traditional label route and, instead, partner with Paste Magazine to give away … yes, I said ‘give away’ … the new CD, One Last Century, for free on the Paste Magazine website starting Tuesday, February 10. The Damnwells aren’t the first band to give away music but Alex has always had interesting ideas about how to get the music he writes out to the masses and he’s interested to see how this whole experiment goes.

While I’ve had the CD for a little over a month now (it pays to know people within The Damnwells camp), I’m going to hold off on a review of the CD until a later date. I’d rather you check it out for yourselves, without hearing any of my opinions, and let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

Take a listen to what Alex had to say just a few short hours before the on-line release of One Last Century.  The interview is just shy of 40 minutes.

DOWNLOAD: The Damnwells – One Last Century
DOWNLOAD: The exclusive Alex Dezen interview

Langerado 2009 Cancelled

Straight from the press release:

Today, the 2009 Langerado Music Festival is cancelled due to sluggish ticket sales.  The 7th annual event was slated to happen March 6-8 at their new home in downtown Miami’s Bicentennial Park.

Langerado’s independent local promoters, faced with a very tough decision in a dismal economy, cancelled the 2009 event only after every possible option was exhausted.

As Langerado Co-Promoter Ethan Schwartz explains, “Langerado has always put the fan experience first.  Unfortunately, during these difficult economic times, and facing a first year in a new venue, it’s become apparent that we cannot execute a production that lives up to the high standards of our past events. Putting Langerado on hold was the toughest decision we have ever had to make.  We are very grateful for the support of the greater-Miami community and the music community during this difficult time.”

All tickets purchased will be refunded.  Please look for ticket refunds to be processed in the next 5-7 business days.   Each order will be refunded to the credit card in full, minus the included order processing fees.  Shipping fees will also be credited for those orders that did not select the free shipping promotion.

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Tour dates: Benjy Ferree

Benjy Ferree’s new CD – Come Back to the Five and Dime Bobby Dee Bobby Dee -  is available digitally TODAY and will be available in physical form on Feb.17.

To promote the album, Ferree’s eulogy to ’50s teenage pop star Bobby Driscoll, the singer will play a handful of dates with Tim Fite before a few appearances at SXSW.

Here are the dates:

Feb 19 TT the Bear’s Cambridge, Massachusetts
Feb 20 Union Hall Brooklyn, New York
Feb 21 M Room Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Feb 22 Thunderbird Cafe Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Feb 23 Beachland Tavern Cleveland, Ohio
Feb 24 The Pike Room Pontiac, Michigan
Feb 25 Schubas Chicago, Illinois
Feb 26 Northside Tavern Cincinnati, Ohio
Feb 27 Rumba Cafe Columbus, Ohio
Feb 28 Black Cat (Record Release Party!) Washington, DC
Mar 18 – 21 SXSW Austin, TX

Interview: Andy Herod (Electric Owls)

I was reviewing a CD recently and scanning over a bio when I noticed that the person who mixed that CD had also mixed a CD by The Comas. The last time I saw The Comas was at SXSW 2007 when I accidentally caught them performing at a day party put on by Jane magazine. I was there to see Great Northern but the show was running late and when I entered the venue I caught a band who sounded familiar but who I couldn’t place. It wasn’t until I went to the soundboard and saw the schedule that I noticed that it was The Comas who were playing.

Before going any farther, I have to say that The Comas 2004 release Conductor is nothing short of amazing. You can pick up a used copy through Amazon for under a buck. And, “New Wolf” from 2007’s Spells was one of my favorite songs of that year.

So, a quick Google search revealed that Comas leader Andy Herod has been working on a new project for the last year or so called Electric Owls. He put out a 4-song EP at the tail end of 2008 as a precursor to a full length that Vagrant will release in April. He’s been doing some dates, opening for Bishop Allen, and I sent these questions to him while he was on the road to discuss The Comas and Electric Owls.