A concept album by the Smoking Popes about the life of a fictional high schooler? Huh? That’s the story behind the Chicago rockers forthcoming (March 15) release, This is Only a Test. This will be the second release of new material for the Popes since they reunited in 2008 after a 10-year hiatus.
Tour dates start mid-March.
Sat- Mar 19 The Sail Inn Tempe AZ
Sun- Mar 20 Casbah San Diego CA
Tue- Mar 22 Slidebar Fullerton CA
Wed- Mar 23 Key Club West Hollywood CA
Thu- Mar 24 Downtown Brew San Luis Obispo CA
Fri- Mar 25 Great American Music Hall San Francisco CA
Sat- Mar 26 The Crepe Place Santa Cruz CA
Mon- Mar 28 Alberta Rose Theatre Portland OR
Tue- Mar 29 El Corazon Seattle WA
Thu- Mar 31 Urban Lounge Salt Lake City UT
Fri- Apr 1 Hi Dive Denver CO
Sat- Apr 2 The Riot Room Kansas City MO
Sun- Apr 3 Double Door Chicago IL
Maybe a lesson to be learned here. The last two Band(camp) of the Week artists I’ve discovered have been because of Blind Melon, or, rather, I should say because I’ve plugged “Blind Melon” in my Google Alerts. This week’s artist is The Bear Romantic, which is really the solo/acoustic project of Jesse Clasen, who fronts another band called Harvard.
In a review on the Creative Loafing website, the writer said that, “Clasen has a unique, nearly-falsetto vocal style that often reminds me of the late Blind Melon singer Shannon Hoon.” And that’s what caused a link to the article to show up in my Google Alerts.
I’m not sure I’d agree that Clasen sounds like Hoon – more like Jeremy Enigk (Sunny Day Real Estate) or Aaron Sprinkle (Fair) in my opinion. Interestingly enough, both of those guys have had success in “rock”-type bands but have made beautiful solo albums as well.
The Bear Romantic’s “Firewood” is available digitally for $4. I really can’t get enough of the CD, it’s been on constant rotation late in the evenings around Atomic Ned headquarters.
To promote the re-issue of 1999’s Emergency & I, The Dismemberment Plan have reunited for a handful of shows. All the U.S. shows are sold out and according to the band, there won’t be any more dates due to everyone’s schedules being a bit crazy. Fortunately, the D-Plan did show up for a taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon where they performed “The City” and “What Do You Want Me to Say?” So far, only “The City” has shown up on YouTube. Here it is.
And, for fun, I pulled up an interview I did with D-Plan bassist Eric Axelson back in early 2000.
Every time I see the name Lohio I expect it to have something to do with the Ass Ponys 2001 release of the same name. The band Lohio, based out of the Pittsburgh area, released a new EP, Family Tree, last fall and is kicking off the new year with a short midwest tour. Definitely check these guys (and girl) out if you’re into artists like Arcade Fire, Yo La Tengo, Sufjan Stevens, Deer Tick, etc.
2/3 – Buffalo, NY – 136 Loft
2/4 – Morgantown, WV – 123 Pleasant Street
2/5 – Elkins, WV – Davis & Elkins College
2/7 – New York City – Union Hall
2/8 – New York City – Lit Lounge
2/10 – Elon, NC – The Fat Frogg
2/12 – Chapel Hill, NC – The Cave
2/14 – Lexington, KY – Cosmic Charlies
2/15 – Bloomington, IN – The Bishop
2/16 – Louisville, KY – Rudyard Kipling
2/17 – Indianapolis, IN – Vollrath
2/18 – Columbus, OH – KOBO
2/19 – Pittsburgh, PA – Thunderbird