Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Album Review

Hymns- Travel In Herds
Blackland Records
Rating: 8 out of 10


Approximately 20 years ago, a friend popped into the CD player, Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks. Within a few seconds of hearing the opening notes of “Tangled Up in Blue,” I knew that I’d be in for a treat and listened to the whole record start to finish while eagerly awaiting each song. It was around the same time, that I had bought Lou Reed’s New York record, in which the liner notes stated the album, was “meant to be listened to in one 58 minute (14 songs) sitting as though it were a book or a movie.”

Ever since that day, I’ve been an album guy as opposed to a singles guy. I knew that bands could easily produce a catchy single, but the more important test, in my opinion, was whether that same band could make a great LP…start-to-finish.

In this day of the iPod, where listeners often rely on the shuffle function to play random tracks from their favorite artists, I wondered to myself, “Are bands still going to take the album seriously?” Although I already knew the answer, that answer was reaffirmed resoundingly after I got a chance to listen to Hymns soon-to-be-released record Travel in Herds.

Travel in Herds starts off with a bang with “NYC Nervous Breakdown.” The looping bass line chugs along with Rickenbacker-like country picking done by the Kinks.

“I Can’t Be What U Want,” takes the band into previously uncharted territory with fantastic horns accompanied by banjo that takes the listener on roads traveled by The Band and perhaps Dr. John.

I think it’s refreshing that while many indie bands have gone 80’s retro, almost using Moog synthesizers as a crutch, Hymns have enough guts to go against the grain and revisit more organic sounds...using horns, piano, banjo, and other old-timey instrumentation.

“St. Sebastian” rocks like Exile-era Stones while tackling Travel in Herds reoccurring theme of wide-eyed big city love and ambivalence. Hymns are from Brooklyn by way of North Carolina and, while they’ve clearly enjoyed their travels and time spent in big cities, you never get the sense that this band has forgotten their roots.

“Time Has Told Me” sounds like another great North Carolina band, Whiskeytown, meeting the Stones halfway.

The only minor slip-up on this record might be the fade-out ending to “LA, or Babette Sange.” I hate fade outs….a sloppy, ramshackle finish would have sounded more authentic.

“On the Run” seduces the listener with Hammond organ coloring, builds up momentum, and eventually launches to into an epic soulful blue-eyed soul song reminiscent of Van Morrison of the early 70’s. The perfect ending to a fantastic record.

The pace and sequencing of this album is nearly perfect, which is difficult when you make a record that touches so many bases. It’s not easy for a band to be this ambitious and still pull it off. Wilco did it with Being There and the Hymns more than succeed with Travel in Herds. Hymns cover expansive ground while keeping the listener comfortable in the familiar realms of Americana.

Sure, you hear some subtle and not-so-subtle nods to The Band, late 60’s Stones, Tom Petty (Blame it On the Mountains), and perhaps Gram Parsons (Off My Mind)…but Travel in Herds is a modern music-lovers album and is a record that any of those artists would have been proud to have made.

Despite this record being full of great singles, this record should be listened to start-to-finish in one sitting….you’ll be happy you did.

Travel in Herds has already solidified a place on my “Best Records of 2008.”

*Travel in Herds will be released on March 11th on Blackland Records.

http://www.hymnsband.com/
http://www.myspace.com/hymnsband
http://www.blacklandrecords.com/


Watch Hymns perform an acoustic version of "NYC Nervous Breakdown" live at the South By Southwest Festival.


SXSW 2008: Hymns, "NYC Nervous Breakdown"


Hymns chat with Spin . com's William Goodman after a quick acoustic set at the SPIN and MySpace San Jacinto Saloon, SXSW 2008.


SXSW 2008: Hymns

Watch the video for "Train Song" from Travel in Herds

Interview with Hymns' Jason Roberts

Hymns
Photo courtesy of Hymns Mypace page



Question: First off…I really love the new record. I thought your previous record, Brother/Sister was one of the best records of 2006, but with Travel in Herds, the band seems to have taken huge strides. What are your thoughts on Travel in Herds?

Answer: I think that Travel in Herds is the album that we've always wanted to make. We’re so proud of Brother/Sister, but this album IS US! It’s a lot more lush, but still remains true to our direct sound that we're going for. Straightforward songs with horns, organ, banjo, etc. I also think the album was created by a much more mature hymns. We were just getting our start on the last album and figuring out the songs and the studio and how to work together. I think the new album shows that we've grown up a lot from touring and playing together so much.

Question: Tell me about the recording sessions for Travel in Herds and how that went down?

Answer: Well, we spent two weeks in our label studio, Vault Studios, doing pre-production on the album with co-producer John Kent. This is the studio in Texas where we recorded Brother/Sister. John and I co-produced the new album together, so we really went through all the songs and just made sure everything was perfect before we went into the other studio to record. We set out the parts and stuff, but tried to not overwork so that the songs would stay fresh. Then we went to Palmyra Studios in Waxahachie, TX for four weeks to record and mix the record. The studio is on 65 acres of land and it's a perfect place to make a record like this. We recorded and mixed to tape. We never left the studio. Slept in tents outside.

Question: According to the credits, most of the songs are Harding/Roberts. Is there a primary songwriter and someone that focuses on the music? Tell me how you guys work together.

Answer: Besides track 10, Brian (Harding) wrote all of the basic parts of the songs himself. Sometimes I would be there with him helping, but most of the time he would bring in a song that was already somewhat strong. Then we would go through the parts and try to really make them solid. He also wrote about 80 percent of the lyrics, but I helped with some of them and I wrote almost all of the lyrics on “Off My Mind” and all of the music on that one as well. It’s credited like that because we work together as a team with all of the stuff. I couldn't write the main song without Brian and Brian couldn't come up with the parts and arrangements without me…you know?

Question: A lot of music is coming out of Brooklyn these days. In fact, I counted over 100 bands from Brooklyn with scheduled shows at South by Southwest. You are not unlike a lot of bands over the past five years, having moved from North Carolina to Brooklyn to set up base. Describe the positive and negative aspects of having the band based out of Brooklyn.

Answer: Well, we love Brooklyn and it's a great place to be if you're a band, but it IS really hard because of all the competition. EVERYONE is in a band. Sometimes it can be really frustrating because your friends or some other smaller band starts doing well and you don't understand why you're not. On the other hand, it's way harder to get recognized in a small town because there are less industry people/clubs/etc.

Question: I had a conversation with a respected local DJ, who lived in New York for a number of years during the 90’s. She told me that, unlike Minneapolis, there really wasn’t a local music scene in New York, where like-minded bands played shows with each other, attended each other’s shows, and helped each other out. She said that New York was too big for a local scene to be happening. Taking her at her word, has New York changed? Is there a local scene there? If so, who are some New York bands that are amongst your circle of friends?

Answer: I totally agree with her, but we have been trying to get some kind of collective together since we've been here. We’d much rather play a show with our friends then some band we've never heard of just because they have some buzz, you know? We actually just did a residency at Pianos (
http://www.pianosnyc.com/) in the Lower East Side and it was up to us to choose the bands for each week and it was so fun to play all of those shows with only friends! Some bands we love: Young Lords, Blonde Acid Cult, Soft Explosions, Kieran McGee, Indyns.

Question: What are your plans for South By Southwest? What do you hope to accomplish there? Are there any bands that you’re hoping to see while there?

Answer: We have three shows so far at SXSW including or label party (Blackland Records). Our CD comes out the day before SXSW, so we're actually doing an in-store and a CD release party in Dallas that day since that is where our label is based. Our main goal for this year is to try and get a booking agent. We love touring so much and it's getting to hard to set that stuff up on our own! We love SXSW so much and its' so fun to go to Austin for that week and just hang with friends and see bands you haven't seen in a long time.

Question: I have an aquaintance in a New York-based band, The Soft Explosions. I discovered them via myspace in 2005, loved what I heard, and went to one of their shows on a visit to New York that same year. I loved and respected their music and they had listed Hymns as one of their friends. Consequently, I checked out your band based on their recommendation. What are your thoughts on the use of the Internet and sites like myspace and how that fits into your (Hymns) world? Do you have any thoughts on how sites like that have affected the music industry as a whole?

Answer: Ha. I just mentioned them! We’re HUGE myspace advocates. We’re addicted to our own personal sites and I can't believe how much having our Hymns myspace has helped us through the past years. Almost everything we get (shows, interviews, etc) is all through myspace. It’s really amazing that people can easily go to your myspace and hear you, see you, read about you, and see how well you're doing as a band. The only negative I think is that a lot of industry people will skip seeing your show or actually listening to your album because they just check you out on myspace. It’s good for them to come to the show and see how you REALLY are, you know?

Question: The first time I saw you, you opened up for the Lemonheads. Tell me the story about getting on that bill?

Answer: Well...I used to play in Ben Kweller's band with John Kent, who owns our label, and we got to know Evan Dando because he was friends with Ben. After we finished touring with Ben, Evan had John play drums with the Lemonheads some as a fill-in. So, when the Lemonheads started touring, John didn't feel bad about asking them if we could jump on that bill. Evan was into our songs and was cool with it!

Question: I read that Evan Dando joined you on stage in Boise. Tell me about that.

Answer: Ha. Yeah, we had played a lot of shows at that point, but he had never watched us, so that night he sat right in the front and watched our whole show. Then for the second to last song, we played a Neil Young cover- “Don't Cry No Tears”-and he jumped up on the front of the stage and grabbed the mic and sang with us! It was definitely a very cool moment for us!

Question: Jason, you mentioned that you played with Ben Kweller’s band. How did that come about?

Answer: I was in New York working at a recording studio called the Magic Shop and also at a club they owned called the Living Room. Ben had just lost his guitarist and was auditioning people and he had come to the Living Room to check out a guitarist who was recommended to him. I was on stage setting up stuff because I was the sound guy and Ben thought that I was the guitarist! So, he asked me to audition for him and I did a couple of days later and got the job!

Question: Ben Kweller got involved in the music industry at a very young age? Even though he’s still fairly young, he has a lot of experience…What did you learn about music and the music industry from him?

Answer: I really learned so much from him. He controls everything that happens with his music and his tour, etc and I saw how smart that is to make sure that everything goes the way that YOU as an artist want. It’s better to do those things yourself and have your vision come out the way you want instead of someone else who doesn't know what's exactly in your head. He worked really hard everyday to make sure everything worked the way he wanted it to. He was also really good at doing interviews and getting people excited about his music and shows. I was pretty na├»ve when I joined his band and I think I left his band a better musician and music businessman.

Question: In my opinion, the year Bob Dylan went electric, playing with The Hawks (The Band), is the most important period in rock music. I noticed that your publishing company is called “Dylan Goes Electric”…Would you concur with my statement? Why or why not?

Answer: That's Brian’s publishing company. We are huge Dylan fans and even huger fans of The Band (The Hawks). It definitely was an important time in music because Dylan really bridged so many things together by going electric. It said a lot to the music world when he did that and stuck by it even though there was a lot of criticism towards it.

Question: On the new record, I hear some sounds that remind me of The Band, just as I heard some sounds of Neil Young and Crazy Horse on Brother/Sister. Is it safe to say, that the band finds inspiration in those artists?

Answer: It is VERY safe to say that. Our goal with all of this stuff is to have songs that sound fresh and new, but always fall back on older sounds.

There are a lot of bands doing the retro thing, but it's hard to achieve in this time. I think we did the best we could on this new record! We’ll always love The Band and the Stones and Neil, etc and will probably always try to imitate them as best we can without copying them. It ends up being our OWN sound.

Question: According to the credits on Travel in Herds, Brian’s dad, Dr. John Harding, played on the record. Was he a big influence on Brian getting involved in music? Was his family musically inclined? If so, what kinds of records did he hear around the house?

Answer: Brian’s dad is an incredible trumpet player. He’s been playing his whole life and even has a Ph.D. in brass! He teaches at UNCC (University of North Carolina-Charlotte) and toured with so many bands throughout his life (James Brown, Bee Gees, etc.)
I think Brian got a lot of his talent from his dad and he grew up listening to ALL kinds of rock and jazz music. His dad has a HUGE HUGE record collection, so everything was available to Brian throughout his childhood. Brian’s dad has always played with us at shows in North Carolina and it was such an honor to have him on the record and I think it was cool for Brian to have his dad there in Texas for two days!

Question: I love the sounds of the horns on this record, they remind me of Van Morrison of the early 70’s or perhaps The Band. Prior to going into the studio, did the band have a clear idea of what those horns would sound like, or did you just let the horn section have at it?

Answer: Well, we pretty much knew what we wanted before we went into the studio. We had worked out most of the stuff during pre- production and recorded ourselves playing the parts on guitar so that John could hear them before he got there and write out some rough charts. We also knew what sounds we were going for (The Band/Elton John for ‘I Can't Be What U Want', the Stones for 'St. Sebastian', etc.)

The only song that we didn't expect to have horns on until the players got to Texas was 'Travel in Herds'. We had an empty gap there and just figured we'd fill it with a cool sax solo.

Question: Are there any plans on moving the band up to Poukeepsee and hunkering down in a house, like Big Pink?

Answer: That would be INCREDIBLE and Brian has brought it up, but we do love our apartment in Brooklyn! Ha.

Question: When I spoke with Brian in June (in Minneapolis), we talked about a number of things, including the song, “It’s a Shame.” I love that song, but it still bothers me to this day that I can’t figure out what specific Neil Young song that reminds me of. He had mentioned that before “It’s a Shame” had an official title, it was often called, “The Neil Young Song”. On Travel in Herds, there’s a song called “Blame it on the Mountains.” Was that song, at any point, called The Tom Petty Song?

Answer: Ha. It wasn't called the Tom Petty song, BUT it is very Tom Petty inspired. One day we were in rehearsals and Brian and I decided to stay behind afterwards to write a 'hit song'. Ha. We promised we wouldn't leave until we had something that we thought was really catchy. I had seen Tom Petty the night before at Madison Square Garden, so I was VERY excited about him at that point. Hopefully it doesn't sound too much like a rip off, but I think we definitely achieved what we were going for!

Question: When I talked to you guys last June, one thing that struck me is that your guys seemed focused and had some artistic goals you wanted to accomplish. Where do you hope Hymns will be in the next couple of years?

Answer: I think we're accomplishing some of our goals and I think this album was a big step for us. It sounds almost EXACTLY how we had pictured it sounding and we're very proud of it. I just hope we can keep making music that we're proud of and that sounds like US. Our only goal as of now is to get on tour so that people can hear these songs. Hopefully something will happen with this record and we can be headlining shows all over the country and Europe one-day soon.


Watch Hymns perform It's a Shame live on Fearless TV.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

UPCOMING RELEASES

The Replacements- Reissues
In Stores April 22nd. Rhino

Good news for Replacements fans as Rhino records is reissueing the band's Twin-Tone releases, Sorry Ma, I Forgot to Take out the Trash, Stink, Hootenanny, and Let it Be. In addition to sparkling new re-mastering of those classic records, fans are treated to a ton of previously un-released material, which may surprise some fans who remember the notoriously self-sabotaging-band's stories of disposing master tapes in the Mississippi River.

Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out the Trash

Tracklisting:

1. Takin a Ride
2. Careless
3. Customer
4. Hangin Downtown
5. Kick Your Door Down
6. Otto
7. I Bought a Headache
8. Rattlesnake
9. I Hate Music
10. Johnny's Gonna Die
11. Shiftless When Idle
12. More Cigarettes
13. Don't Ask Why
14. Somethin to Du
15. I'm in Trouble
16. Love You Till Friday
17. Shutup
18. Raised in the City

Bonus Material

Raised in the City (live, 1980 – demo)
Shutup (live, 1980 – demo)
Don't Turn Me Down (live, 1980 – demo)
Shape Up (live, 1980 – demo)
You Ain't Gotta Dance (live, 1980 – demo)
Get on the Stick (live, 1980 – demo)
Oh Baby (studio demo)
Like You (outtake)
Get Lost (outtake)
A Toe Needs a Shoe (outtake)
Customer (alternate take)
Basement Jam (rehearsal)
If Only You Were Lonely




Watch The Replacements perform Johnny's Gonna Die live at the 7th St. Entry. September 5th, 1981.


Stink

Tracklisting:

1. Kids Don't Follow
2. Fuck School
3. Stuck in the Middle
4. God Damn Job
5. White and Lazy
6. Dope Smokin' Moron
7. Go
8. Gimme Noise

Bonus Material

Staples in Her Stomach (outtake)
Hey, Good Lookin' (outtake)
(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock (outtake)
You're Getting Married (solo home demo)

Hootenanny

Tracklisting:

1. Hootenanny
2. Run It
3. Color Me Impressed
4. Willpower
5. Take Me Down to the Hospital
6. Mr. Whirly
7. Within Your Reach
8. Buck Hill
9. Lovelines
10. You Lose
11. Hayday
12. Treatment Bound

Bonus Material

Lookin' for Ya
Junior's Got a Gun (outtake - rough mix)
Ain't No Crime (outtake)
Johnny Fast (outtake rough mix)
Treatment Bound (alternate version)
Lovelines (alternate vocal)
Bad Worker (solo home demo)

Let It Be

Tracklisting:

1. I Will Dare
2. Favorite Thing
3. We're Comin' Out
4. Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out
5. Androgynous
6. Black Diamond
7. Unsatisfied
8. Seen Your Video
9. Gary's Got a Boner
10. Sixteen Blue
11. Answering Machine

Bonus Material

20th Century Boy
Perfectly Lethal (outtake)
Temptation Eyes (outtake)
Answering Machine (solo home demo)
Heartbeat -- It's a Lovebeat (outtake - rough mix)
Sixteen Blue (outtake - alternate vocal)

http://www.twintone.com/mats
http://www.theskyway.com/

Gary Louris- Vagabonds
In Stores Feb 19th. Rykodisc

The former Jayhawks' frontman is releasing his first solo record since the breakup of the alt-country legends. The album was recorded in Los Angeles and a number of guests appear, including Farmer Dave (ex-Beachwood Sparks), Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles), Chris Robinson (Black Crowes), and Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley). The album was co-produced by Thom Monahan (Espers / Vetiver / Devendra Banhart) and Louris’ long-time friend, Chris Robinson.

Tracklisting:

1. True Blue
2. Omaha Nights
3. To Die a Happy Man Louris
4. She Only Calls Me on Sundays
5. We'll Get By
6. Black Grass
7. I Wanna Get High
8. Vagabonds
9. D.C. Blues
10. Meandering

Gary Louris Solo Tour

3/16: Seattle (Showbox)
3/17: Vancouver (Richard's on Richards)
3/18: Portland, OR (Wonder Ballroom)
3/20: San Francisco (Fillmore)
3/21: Los Angeles (El Rey)
3/23: Denver (Bluebird Cafe)
3/25: Minneapolis (State Theatre)
3/27: Madison, WI (Barrymore Theatre)
3/28: Chicago (The Vic)
3/29: Pittsburgh (Mr. Small's)
3/30: Toronto (Mod Theatre)
4/1: Boston (Somerville Theatre)
4/2: New York (Town Hall)
4/4: Chapel Hill (Cat's Cradle)
4/5: Atlanta (Variety Playhouse)

http://www.myspace.com/garylouris
http://www.rykodisc.com/


Hymns- Travel in Herds
In Stores March 11th. Blackland Records
*See Album Review and Interview Next Week*

Tracklisting:

1. N.Y.C. Nervous Breakdown
2. I Can't Be What U Want
3. L.A. or Babette Sange
4. Streets Alone
5. St. Sebastian
6. Time Told Me
7. Train Song
8. Blame It on the Mountains
9. Travel in Herds
10. Off My Mind
11. On the Run

http://www.myspace.com/hymnsband
http://www.hymnsband.com/
http://www.blacklandrecords.com/

Supergrass- Diamond Hoo Ha
In Stores March 24th (UK Release). Parlophone/Capitol

Supergrass is releasing the follow-up to the fantastic Road to Rouen. No word on if they'll continue down the path of meloncholy reflective songs featured on Road to Rouen, or if they'll revert back to their energetic Brit-pop of earlier recordings. I'm hoping for the former as Road to Rouen was one of my favorite records a couple of years ago.

Tracklisting:

1. Diamond Hoo Ha Man
2. Bad Blood
3. Rebel In You
4. When I Needed You
5. 345
6. The Return Of...
7. Rough Knuckles
8. Ghost Of A Friend
9. Whiskey & Green Tea
10. Outside
11. Butterfly

http://www.supergerass.com/
http://www.myspace.com/supergrass


The Brian Jonestown Massacre- My Bloody Underground
In Stores March 31st. A Records

The Brian Jonestown Massacre are finally releasing a full-length proper album, titled My Bloody Underground. It's been five years since Anton Newcombe and the remaining cast released And This is Our Music, although the mini-album/ep, We Are the Radio was released in 2005.

A free demo version of My Bloody Underground has been available for many months on the bands website. Frankly, as much as I hate to say this, I'm not that high on this record. It's more avante garde than previous Jonestown efforts and was largely recorded by Anton himself, although Mark Gardener (Ride) helps out on a song. The post-apocolypic-sounding songs are generally layered electronic loops with a few songs sung in Icelandic. The record was recorded in Anton's new adopted home of Reykjavik, Iceland, as well as Liverpool, England.

Here's a podcast interview of the BJM's Anton Newcombe, courtesy of The Guardian. He discusses topics such as the chemical-inspiration for My Bloody Underground, Amy Winehouse, British Culture, and a couple of his favorite Icelandic bands.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/audio/2008/feb/14/music.weekly.podcast


You can download all BJM albums free-of-charge at http://www.brianjonestownmassacre.com/

However, if you do like the records, please purchase the records from the Committee To Keep Music Evil.

http://www.thecommitteetokeepmusicevil.com/

Tracklisting:

1. Bring Me the Head of Paul McCartney on Heather Mill's Wooden Peg (Dropping Bombs On The White House)
2. Golden-Frost
3. Infinite Wisdom Tooth / My Last Night In Bed With You
4. Kicking Jesus
5. We Are The Niggers Of The World
6. Who's Fucking Pissed In My Well
7. Who Cares Why
8. Dark-Wave-Driver/Big Drill Car
9. Monkey Powder
10. Yeah-Yeah
11. Black-Hole-Symphony
12. Auto-Matic-Faggot For The People
13. Ljosmyndir

http://www.brianjonestownmassacre.com/
http://www.myspace.com/brianjonestownmassacre


The Quarter After- Changes Near
In Stores March 18th. Committee to Keep Music Evil

As many BJM fans already know, Anton Newcombe isn't the only talented musician in that band. A few years back, BJM multi-instrumentalist Rob Campanella and his brother Dominic formed the Quarter After, along with Brian Wilson's and Wondermints' drummer, Nelson Bragg. Their self-titled debut The Quarter After was a great collection of Gene Clark-era Byrds mixed with subtle nods to the psychedelic freakouts featured on Husker Du's version of "Eight Miles High".

According to Rob, the new record will still maintain their psychedelic sounds, however, a slight move away from Gene Clark-era Byrds to more Gram Parsons-era Byrds. In other words....a little more twang. Also guesting on the record, Eric Heywood of Son Volt.

Tracklisting:

1. Sanctuary
2. She Revolves
3. Counting the Score
4. See How Good It Feels
5. Early Morning Rider
6. Nothing out of Something
7. Changes Near
8. Winter Song
9. Turning Away
10. This Is How I Want to Know You
11. Follow Your Own Way
12. Sempre Avanti (Johnny Marr is Not Dead)

http://www.myspace.com/thequarterafter
http://www.thequarterafter.com/
http://www.thecommitteetokeepmusicevil.com/

New York Dolls- Live at The Fillmore East
Available at shows, Official store release N/A. Mercury, Roadrunner

The legendary New York Dolls reformed a couple years ago after Morrissey requested they play the Meltdown Festival that he was curating. Shortly after the festival, the Dolls lost their fourth member as Arthur "Killer" Kane succumbed to leukemia. The band has carried on and has remained largely true to sound, which listeners should hear in the live recording from last November.

Tracklisting:

1. Babylon
2. Trash
3. Jet Boy
4. Personality Crisis
5. Rainbow Store
6. Looking for a Kiss
7. Puss 'n' Boots
8. Dance Like a Monkey
9. Pills
10. Lonely Planet Boy

http://www.nydolls.com/
http://www.myspace.com/newyorkdolls

Monday, February 4, 2008

Golden Smog Perform in Front of 20,000 at Obama Rally in Minneapolis


A sold-out crowd of 20,000 (an estimated 5,000 didn’t get in) were on hand Saturday for the "Stand for Change" Presidential Campaign rally for Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. Those 20,000 people were treated to an unexpected performance by Twin Cities' supergroup, Golden Smog.


Gary Louris and Jeff Tweedy warm up the Obama crowd

Golden Smog is a supergroup, who’s primary members are Gary Louris and Marc Perlman (Jayhawks), Dan Murphy (Soul Asylum), Craig Jarret Johnson (Run Westy Run, Jayhawks, Iffy, etc.), and Jeff Tweedy (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo). Sitting in on drums in place of Jody Stephens (Big Star) was Greg Wieczorek from Joseph Arthur's band.

Due to a busy schedule with Wilco and other side projects, it was Tweedy’s first performance with the band in a few years. However, it wasn’t the first time Tweedy has played an event with the Presidential hopeful. Tweedy and Wilco have performed a number of times at Obama events and the Illinois Senator introduced Wilco at the 2005 Farm Aid Concert.

Setlist

Looking Forward To Seeing You
Glad and Sorry (The Faces)
To Call My Own

Love & Mercy (Brian Wilson)
Beautiful Mind
Until You Came Along

Not played due to time constraints.

I Can't Keep From Talking
Corvette

Easy to be Hard
What's So Funny 'bout Peace, Love and Understanding (Elvis Costello)*
Revolution Blues (Neil Young)

*Performed at soundcheck

Here’s a couple photos from the event, courtesy of Baby, You Got a Stew Goin' blog

http://www.myspace.com/goldensmog

http://www.myspace.com/wilco

http://www.wilcoweb.com/