Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Music news update: J. Geils Band, The Mavericks, Minus 5, Martin Sexton, Belle & Sebastian

There's so much interesting news today that I decided to consolidate the other items. This first one should be a blast to experience...

On Feb. 24, 2015, Eagle Rock Entertainment will issue the first ever release of House Party Live In Germany – the classic Rockpalast concert from The J. Geils Band – on DVD+CD and Digital Audio.

The year was 1979. The J. Geils Band were touring Europe in support of the Sanctuary album and its hit single “One Last Kiss,” when they made a pit stop in Essen, Germany to perform on the TV series Rockpalast. Filmed on April 21 at the Grugahalle, the aptly-named House Party Live In Germany, the first half of the concert focuses on material from Sanctuary, while the second half features earlier breakthrough rock radio hits like “Looking For A Love,” “Give It To Me,” and “Ain’t Nothing But A House Party.”

In the 70s The J. Geils Band developed a reputation for their faithful devotion to down-n-dirty bar blues (while most of their contemporaries drew more heavily from British blues-rock and psychedelia). As time progressed, their sound expanded into new directions and acquired more pop influences, leading them to score massive crossover appeal and commercial success with their 1981 album Freeze Frame and its smash hit “Centerfold.” House Party Live In Germany catches the band just before that key turn in the band’s career.

Track Listing:

1.) Jus’ Can’t Stop Me
2.) I Could Hurt You
3.) Sanctuary
4.) One Last Kiss
5.) Teresa
6.) Nightmares
7.) Wild Man
8.) Looking For A Love
9.) Give It To Me
10.) Whammer Jammer
11.) Ain’t Nothing But A House Party
12.) Where Did Our Love Go
13.) Pack Fair and Square
14.) First I Look At The Purse
The Mavericks have just revealed the tracklisting for Mono, due out Feb. 17 on The Valory Music Co.
Fans can pre-order the physical album now on Amazon and the digital version on iTunes beginning Jan. 27.
The Grammy-winning band will embark on a tour in February, with new stops recently added this Spring domestically in Miami, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Reno, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston and internationally in London, Paris, Cologne and Hamburg.

Frontman Raul Malo teamed up with Niko Bolas once again for producing duties. Alongside members Paul Deakin (drums, percussion, marimba), Eddie Perez (electric/acoustic guitars) and Jerry Dale McFadden (piano, organ, celeste), the project also features The Fantastic Four - longtime backing musicians Michael Guerra (accordion, percussion), Max Abrams (saxophones), Paul Armstrong (trumpets) and Jay Weaver (upright bass, tuba). 

“With Mono, we started with less purpose and more passion, hoping to do what music is supposed to do, evoke a vibe that naturally takes each listener somewhere different,” said Malo. “That’s what happened to each of us as we went in the studio and listened to old vinyls before recording. There was just a beauty to the sound that inspired how we developed these songs and even why we chose to record in mono. One of the things we found interesting as we listened to playback in ‘mono’ – usually at the end of each day – was how ‘finished’ the songs sounded. In turn the album has but a few overdubs and that works in our favor because each part played counts for a lot. Our hope is to present this album almost exactly as it was recorded.”

After an indefinite hiatus and serendipitous reunion, The Mavericks made a triumphant return in 2013 with the critically acclaimed In Time. [editor's note: it was my #1 album of the year]
For updated tour dates and information, visit
Track Listing:

"All Night Long" (Raul Malo)
“Summertime (When I’m With You)” (Raul Malo)
“Pardon Me” (Raul Malo, Alan Miller)
“What Am I Supposed To Do” (Raul Malo)
“Stories We Could Tell” (Raul Malo, Wally Wilson)
“What You Do To Me” (Raul Malo, Allen Miller)
“Let It Rain (On Me)” (Raul Malo)
“The Only Question Is” (Raul Malo)
“Out The Door” (Raul Malo)
“(Waiting For) The World To End” (Raul Malo, Alan Miller)
“Fascinate Me” (Raul Malo, Jerry Dale McFadden)
**Bonus Track** “Nitty Gritty” (Doug Sahm)
I had a memorable interview with Scott in 2006, so I'm very curious to see what he's come up with lately...
The Minus 5, the indie pop/rock collective led by Scott McCaughey and often featuring R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, will release their 10th album, Dungeon Golds, March 10 on Yep Roc Records.
The album is now available for pre-order at iTunes with instant download of “My Generation.” U.S tour dates supporting Tweedy and The Decemberists are confirmed for March. Dates listed below.

Dungeon Golds includes 12 tracks culled from three of the five-LP-only limited edition (750 copies) Record Store Day 2014 boxed set, Scott The Hoople In the Dungeon of Horror, with six altered, edited or enhanced mixes/versions. This is the first in a series of releases on Yep Roc, which will make music from the exclusive set more widely available in CD, LP and download.

From inception and by design The Minus 5 line-up “for recordings and live appearances has been completely fluid, dependent on musician availability, whim, opportunity, and provenance,” says McCaughey. “I may have taken more of the music upon myself on the Scott The Hoople sessions, but when it came down to it, I still wanted my friends to have their say, and they were kind enough to do so.”

When assembling Dungeon Golds, McCaughey leaned towards songs that have made their way into the Minus 5’s recent live sets, with the thought that “it’d be a good time to go out and perform them.”


March 7 The Vic Chicago, IL*
March 8 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN*
March 10 Emerson Center For the Arts and Culture Bozeman, MT*
March 11 Top Hat Lounge Missoula, MT*
March 12 The Neptune Seattle, WA*
March 14 Crystal Ballroom Portland, OR*
March 18 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA*
March 19 Cocoanut Grove Ballroom Santa Cruz, CA*
March 21 Keller Auditorium Portland, OR**
March 22 Theatre at The Ace Hotel Los Angeles, CA*
March 24 Balboa Theatre San Diego, CA*
March 25 Rialto Theatre Tucson, AZ*
March 26 The Lensic Santa Fe, NM*
March 28 Ellie Caulkins Opera House Denver, CO*

*supporting Tweedy
**supporting The Decemberists

Track Listing (with Scott’s notes):

1. My Generation – I played everything, like Todd Rundgren but shaggier. This is a remixed and slightly edited version. An anthem for aging rockers.
2. It’s Beautiful Here – The great John Moen on drums, with me doing my best to reference Smiley Smile-era Beach Boys on the rest. A litany of negatives to accentuate the positive.
3. In The Ground – This song (ditto tracks 4, 7, 11) was recorded like a real band in a real studio with John Moen, Nate Query, and Peter Buck. Ian McLagan and John Ramberg added the tasty bits. Added more guitars and vocals and remixed this from the box version. Also added sadness since Mac’s passing.
4. Adios Half Solider – Jeff Tweedy added the mondo solo guitars. Phantom accordion could have been Jenny Conlee or Josh Kantor.
5. Zero Clowns – A new edit/mix. Ezra Holbrook on drums with Peter Buck and Jeff Tweedy on plenty of guitars. “Death Of A Clown” revisited?
6. Chinese Saucer Magnolia – edited version. Moen on drums, Buck on 12-string. It’s a spooky kind of tree.
7. It’s Magenta, Man! – new mix. Still psychemagelic.
8. The History You Hate – Tracked this with Linda Pitmon in the Dungeon. Jeff Tweedy-ed the solo in Chicago.
9. Sorry Town – Buck on 12-string, Moen on drums, Tucker Jackson on pedal steel. Not a bad place to go really.
10. Remain In Lifeboat – new mix, spot the guitar solo. Pitmon, Tweedy, McLagan, and yours truly – the Band That Might Have Been.
11. Hold Down The Fort – Kurt Bloch added last minute guitarmonies, Joe Adragna backing vocal. I’ve gone away a lot in life.
12. The Unforeseen – Holbrook tracked the drums with me and Jackson provided instantly perfect steel. Seems like a closing track to me.
Acclaimed singer/songwriter Martin Sexton's eighth studio album Mixtape of the Open Road is due out Feb. 10 via KTR/Redeye.

"There's a brief magic time between day and night. Our minds have a similar twilight, that dusk and daw, where intuition - not intellect - kicks in," Sexton told PopMatters. "I find this is where our true voices live. So, when I say 'my mind is woo,' that's what I mean, and the 'You' is anyone, anything, or anyplace you long for."

Mixtape of the Open Road is like a mix tape of songs, but written and performed all by the same artist. 

"I've taken comfort and inspiration from mix tapes friends made for me. You know, like that soundtrack that you crossed the country to after graduation or that music that got you through a broken heart," Martin told Wall Street Journal.

"I wanted to make a record in this fashion with each song musically different from the next, ranging from a distorted, bombastic 'Remember That Ride' to a guy and a guitar ('Set In Stone') singing about the unwavering love for his child."

Known for his success as an independent recording artist and his incendiary live shows, this will be Martin's first full-length studio album since 2010's Sugarcoating. Immediately following its release, Martin will hit the road on his winter/spring US tour which kicks off in February. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at

Track List:

1) Do It Daily
2) You (My Mind Is Woo)
3) Pine Away
4) Set In Stone
5) Remember That Ride
6) Give It Up
7) Shut Up and Sing
8) I Believe In You
9) Doin' Something Right
10) Dandelion Days
11) Virginia
12) Supper Time

Tour Dates:

2/12 - Louisville, KY @ KCD Theater
2/13 - Chicago, IL @ Park West
2/14 - Bloomington, IL @ Castle Theatre
2/15 - Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
2/17 - La Crosse, WI @ Cavalier Theatre
2/18 - Cedar Rapids, IA @ CSPS
2/19 - Columbia, MO @ Mojo's
2/20 - St. Louis, MO @ Old Rock House
2/21 - Lawrence, KS @ Granada
2/22 - Sioux Falls, SD @ The District
2/25 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
2/26 - Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
2/27 - Seattle, WA @ The Neptune
2/28 - Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theatre
3/01 - Eugene, OR @ Wow Hall
3/03 - Chico, CA @ Rendezvous
3/04 - Arcata, CA @ Arcata Theatre
3/05 - Reno, NV @ Knitting Factory
3/06 - San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo's
3/07 - Napa, CA @ City Winery
3/11 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Soho Club
3/12 - San Diego, CA @ Belly Up
3/13 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
3/14 - Phoenix, AZ @ TBA
3/15 - Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
3/16 - Santa Fe, NM @ The Lensic
3/20 - Aspen, CO @ Belly Up
3/21 - Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theatre
3/24 - Jackson, MS @ Duling Hall
3/25 - Birmingham, AL @ Workplay Theatre
3/26 - Memphis, TN @ Minglewood Hall
3/27 - Nashville, TN @ City Winery
3/28 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
3/29 - Charlotte, NC @ Visualite Theatre
3/30 - Durham, NC @ Carolina Theatre
4/09 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
4/10 - Cincinnati, OH @ 20th Century Theatre
4/17 - Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
4/18 - Washington, DC @ 930 Club
5/01 - New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
5/02 - New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
5/09 - Boston, MA @ House of Blues
5/15 - Charlottesville, VA @ The Southern
5/16 - Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
6/06 - Hartford, CT @ Infinity Hall

Belle & Sebastian announced additional US tour dates today in support of their album Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance, out next week.
Tour dates:
Boston, MA - House of Blues
Toronto, ON - Massey Hall
Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Theatre
Chicago, IL - Riviera
Madison, WI - Overture Hall
Seattle, WA - Paramount Ballroom
Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre
Portland, OR - Roseland
Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre - Berkeley
Davis, CA - Mondavi Center
San Diego, CA - The North Park Theatre
Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theatre
New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
Washington, DC - Echostage
Columbus, OH - LC Pavilion
Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theatre

4/7-9, 4/12, 4/14 - Perfume Genius to support
4/12, 6/10 - Real Estate to support

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