an awesome week.

The Mommyheads

This week was a pretty cool one for us.  On Monday, we announced that we’d be reissuing the Mommyheads’ classic CD “Flying Suit.”  Then, we did a bunch of other stuff, too.

The Mommyheads thing was long in the making.  After their Geffen record came out in 1997, I’d lost complete touch with the guys in the band.  It was thanks to the Mommyheads mailing list that I discovered some folks who were still in touch with various band members, and eventually Matt Brown from Bladen County Records, the awesome indie that put out their 2008 album You’re Not A Dream, that I finally made contact with Adam.

Over the next few months of catching up, Adam told me that Flying Suit had been remastered, and that a new version of the recording was floating around (with three additional tracks).  When I heard them, I was completely blown away.  Flying Suit is a great record – by many accounts, one of the best indie releases of the 90s.  But this recording sounded phenomenal.  The remastering brought out elements of the music that I didn’t even know were there, and everything seemed better balanced.  The place I heard it first was on “Spiders,” which we released on our Make The Load Lighter: Indie Rock for Haiti compilation.  But all the album’s original tracks benefited from the remastering, as did the three additional songs (songs recorded around the same time as “Flying Suit,” each of which appeared in various seven-inch or compilation tracks around the same time.

When we began talking about putting the record out on a re-established Dromedary, I was beside myself.  Simply by reading this blog, you can learn how transformative that record was for us in the early 90s, and how honored we were to be working with the band back then.  I feel the same way today, and I’m also thankful to the guys who hooked us up with the band.

So on Tuesday we announced the big news – roughly about the same time that they were announcing that they’d be re-forming for a tour of Sweden in May.  Very, very cool, and also great to see that such a great band has not completely broken up – that will mark two sets of shows from the band in the last two years.

Then, on Wednesday, I ventured into the city with Brian from Stuyvesant and Tom ‘Spos to meet up with Jamie, the manager of the Scottish band Three Blind Wolves.  Three Blind Wolves appeared on our Make the Load Lighter compilation as well, and we absolutely love their stuff.  Very rootsy, almost alt-country, but with just enough indie rock to give it an interesting twist.

Anyway, Jamie was in the States for SXSW this year, helping out with some Scottish shows and also promoting the bands he manages.  Since he had a stopover in New York for a few days, we decided it would be a great opportunity to meet.

We got together at a little cafe in the Village for some drinks, and then wound up meandering over to a little room called the Rockwood Music Hall, where Scottish songwriter Tommy Reilly was performing.  We watched Tommy’s set, and afterward, Jamie introduced us to him and also to Jamie G, manager of the awesome band We Were Promised Jetpacks.  Jamie and Jamie were traveling together, and Tommy was also in the States for SXSW, and so we wound up spending the entire night with them, ultimately ending at the Motor City Bar on Ludlow, where Jello Biafra was spinning garage rock records.

Many beers later, I finally had to say goodbye to our new friends and head home – a PATH ride and a long drive awaited, and since it’s been ten years since I’ve taken the PATH anywhere, and since much of that part of the city seems to have been redrawn, I needed Brian’s help to get me back.  I finally walked into my house at 2:30 – discovering later that our Scottish friends were still at Motor City, getting home some time after dawn.

In either case, it was great to meet those guys.  We spent a lot of time talking about Scottish music – there’s a ton of great stuff happening over there musically.  For an island smaller than South Carolina with a population a little more than half that of New York, it seems as if the place is just bursting with great music, from the aforementioned Jetpacks and other well-known indie bands like Mogwai and The Twilight Sad to what seems like a bustling underground, with artists of all types.  And I really love a lot of it, so it was great to learn a little more from Jamie.

As if that wasn’t enough, Sandy and I went back into the Village on Friday, meeting up with an old college friend and hitting the old Village Gate, now called Le Poisson Rouge, to see The Sharp Things.  The Sharp Things is a “chamber pop” band that features our friends Jim Santo (ex-Jenifer Convertible and current Helper of All Things Indie through his web design skill and his Brooklyn-based studio The Kennel) on guitar and vocals, James Pertusi (co-owner of The Kennel, former bass player for Jenifer Convertible and current member of The Ditty Committee) on bass, and Perry Serpa (owner of Good Cop PR) on vocals and piano.

Rounding out the band was another keyboardist, another guitar player, a string section, a horn section, and a drummer – 12 musicians in total, many singing backup vocals and ultimately sounding like a ’70s AM radio soul band with much better songwriting.  The Sharp Things have two albums out on Bar/None, and they’re slowly working on their followup – this show was their first one in a while, and they sounded fantastic.  Check them out here.

Ending the evening was a set by Minneapolis-based The New Standards, a jazz trio that includes John Munson, formerly of the bands Trip Shakespeare (who I really liked in college) and Semisonic (who I didn’t).  They played jazz-influenced covers of bands like The Replacements, Elvis Costello, and such – they were great, certainly a novelty band but not on the cheesy level of a Dread Zeppelin.  The music stood well on its own, unlike reggae versions of Zeppelin songs that can only be taken in the smallest doses.

We had a really nice time.

And then yesterday I firmly cemented myself in the OUT category in our town’s NCAA pool.  Too many upsets in the tournament this year – makes the games fun to watch, but when so many brackets get busted so early, I think a lot of enthusiasm wanes among people like me that don’t follow college sports except the tournament.

Anyway, now that SXSW is over, we’re digging into the impending release of I Am Spartacus by Friends, Romans, Countrymen.  Release date on that one is April 6, stay tuned.

~ by Al on March 28, 2010.

3 Responses to “an awesome week.”

  1. Hey Al – The CD I sort of bought from Tommy Reilly made it to my iPod. Good stuff. However, the CD I got from Jamie had only four tracks on it, and I’m not sure what he put on that CD was what he THOUGHT he put on that CD. Was your copy the same way?

  2. My CD from Jamie had a couple of different bands on it, 8 or 10 tracks (I don’t have it handy). I’ll have to double-check and shoot you a note.

  3. I think it was SUPPOSED to have tracks from four bands on it, but I got four tracks from one artist.

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