Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


News From The Wild: Smithereens, Damnwells, vinyl and delusional bloggers

I read with amusement yesterday the tale of bloggers that are hanging it up because the visions of fame, book deals and company cars never came around.  I thought it was interesting on a couple of levels - 1) the fact that somebody actually took the time to track down enough of these people to craft a story (that's either fine journalism at work or a slow day in the newsroom) and 2) we're supposed to feel sorry for these guys as we read their tales of woe?  Depending on your point of view, they either had reasonable expectations that didn't come through or alternatively, they were looking to get too much out of it.  Sure, there are book deals and similar things that can happen out of a blog or even a Twitter account if you're one of those guys that can be really funny in 140 characters or less.

So where does that leave the rest of us who are interested in just having a new way to interact with people that happens to bring with it the possibility of a few perks?  I guess that leaves us right here on sites like this one, which I've always looked at as a way to digitize the normal music geek conversations that I have with my friends (some of whom might never want to hear me talk about music ever again).  Every cool thing that happens to come my way on top of that (like a Lemmy screening, for example) is merely a nice bonus.  So if you're looking to get into blogging, I guess some good advice would be to manage your expectations appropriately so that you don't end up as a featured player in a unintentionally funny story like the one linked above.

It's just some food for thought, not that you asked me.  Now that we've got that out of the way, here' s a few things that have brought excitement to my not-so-inner musical geek recently:

Damnwells on vinyl

As The Damnwells prepare to release their new album No One Listens To The Band Anymore (which is my early candidate for greatest album title of the year) in March, they've announced that the album will be available on vinyl in several flavors and you'll also be able to get the previous Damnwells album One Last Century on vinyl as well. Both are priced modestly at $20 each and are available now for pre-order via Clifton Motel (also a cool name!).  The vinyl will be released day and date with the regular edition of the new Damnwells disc, which will be available on March 15th.

Smithereens vs. Don Dixon = new Smithereens album!

Smithereens front man Pat DiNizio delivered the exciting news that the band have finished recording their new album with producer Don Dixon.  This represents a reunion for the band and Dixon, who previously produced the Smithereens albums Especially for You and Green Thoughts way back when and it will be the first proper Smithereens studio release of new original material since God Save The Smithereens in 1999 (since then, there have been solo albums, tribute albums and a live album).  Dixon is currently mixing the 13 track album which will be released on April 15th on E1/Koch Records. For vinyl fans, I understand that there's a good chance you'll be able to buy this one on black wax.  I had the opportunity to preview "Sorry," one of the tracks from the new album when the 'Reens gave it an official first airing at DiNizio's birthday show this past October in New Jersey. (You can watch Youtube footage of the song here.)  A classic Smithereens rocker, "Sorry" finds the band turning up the amps once again and from what I'm hearing, there will be plenty of rock and roll for everyone's enjoyment on this new album.  Bring it on!

(And could this image posted on DiNizio's Facebook page be the new album cover?)

The Gathering Field, live in concert and live on disc in your living room!

I've been a fan of Pittsburgh-based rockers The Gathering Field for quite a few years now and although the band has been mostly dormant in recent years, they have played a few reunion shows in Pittsburgh.  The band's 2007 show at Station Square left me speechless, wrapping up with a signature cover of Matthew Sweet's "Divine Intervention" and a few choice catalog cuts that were about the only remaining songs that I was hoping that they'd play on the night.  A short time later, I made contact with Dave Brown, longtime producer and guitarist for the band and asked him if they had any live shows professionally recorded in the vaults and at the time, all he had were some audience recordings that they had made through the years, which I guess would fall into the category of "professional bootleg."  I was disappointed to hear that, because the Station Square gig proved that they hadn't lost a step and made me think that their live show really needed to be documented officially for the masses.

Good news comes to those who wait and in a recent email blast to fans, front man Bill Deasy revealed that the band's November reunion show was recorded and will be released this spring as a double CD live album (and presumably, available as a digital download like the rest of their catalog).  I missed the show due to a schedule conflict, but Deasy reports that the full 20 song set will be released and that it "really seems to capture the spirit of that time and that band and that whole GF experience, which is to say, I think you're really going to like it."  Fair enough.  The band's 1996 release Lost in America is a true piece of treasure for those who were lucky enough to hear it and if you haven't had the chance, there's still time.

Tape Op

I'm glad that magazines like Tape Op find a way to continue to exist in these choppy waters for both publications and journalists.  The ultimate resource for producers, recording geeks and gear hounds, the latest issue is especially cool, featuring R.E.M. producer Scott Litt, interviewed by Chris Stamey of the dB's and also an interview with legendary producer Reinhold Mack, both of which are must-read geek out material for music fans of all ages.  You can acquire the new issue here and sign up for a free (!!!) subscription here as well.

Diamond Dave

I'll leave you with a concert remembrance from my pal Adam, who spends some time looking back at his DLR (that's David Lee Roth....did I really need to tell you that??) concert experience at the Richfield Coliseum in 1986.  I haven't seen DLR solo, but I came close to seeing him in the mid-90s when he played a show at the Cleveland Agora on the Your Filthy Little Mouth tour.

Enjoy, y'all - we'll talk soon!

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