Ran into Roger Lewis on the phone the other day. He was getting ready to go to work at Homer’s. In addition to selling records, Roger also is the drummer for The Good Life, Neva Dinova and his new band, Artsy Golfer. The main topic of conversation: The upcoming three-day Eastern Nebraska tour for The Good Life, with starts tomorrow night at The Saddle Creek Bar before heading to Knickerbockers and finally closing out at Sokol Underground Saturday night.
Roger said he and the band are headed into the new Mogis studios in fun, funky Fairacres in January to craft “the perfect 10-song record” to be released in August. The Good Life, he said, is officially the first band to record at the new studio. Mike Mogis will produce and AJ may track and do some recording. “I’ve looked inside,” he said of the new studio space. “It’s really nice, kind of overwhelming. It’s one of the nicest studios I’ve ever seen.”
Fans will get a sneak-peak at the new Good Life material during the tour. “We’re gonna play a bunch of new songs the next three nights and mix in some old ones also,” Lewis said. “Practice has been an ordeal since right now we have so much work to do, trying to prepare 30 songs and get ready for the studio at the same time. It can be kind of nerve-wracking.”
Don’t expect a huge change in the band’s musical style. “I feel like this record is more organic. We’re trying not to have as many overdubs. It’ll just be the four of us creating music.” And it probably won’t be a concept album. “It’s just a collection of songs, that’s the vibe I’m getting now.”
The usual road work will follow the CD release. “Touring may not be as intense; we’ll support it the best we can,” Roger said. “It won’t be as it has in the past.”
That’s probably a good thing, since Lewis is knee deep in his other projects. Neva Dinova is slowly working on their next record. “We’ll record most of it ourselves,” Lewis said. “We’re taking time to learn how to do that.”
Then there’s Artsy Golfer, a new project with Ryan Fox, Steph Drootin and Alan Tanner (who also plays guitar for Maria Taylor). They had one of their first shows a couple weeks ago at Sokol Underground. “It went over really well. It kind of reminds me of an early ’90s rock band. We’re gonna try to work on that as much as possible, time permitting.”
So why three Good Life shows at three different venues? “The original idea was to do four shows in Council Bluffs to present the new songs,” Roger said. “Then we thought about doing one big show at Sokol upstairs, but we figured we’d have to put on a real show, so we nixed it and decided to go with the three shows. We’re calling it our Eastern Nebraska Tour. We’re printing up T-shirts and everything.”
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Bright Eyes news exploded on the Web around lunch time yesterday when Billboard reported that Conor Oberst has decided to call the next full-length BE album Cassadaga. After the announcement, hundreds of Google searches ensued to try to figure out what the word means. Top of the list is the site for Cassadaga, Florida: “Known as ‘The Psychic Center of the World,’ Cassadaga continues today as the premiere psychic community and is home to some of America’s finest psychics.” Nice.
The new album, due out April 10, includes guest appearances by M. Ward, Gillian Welch and Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Quasi), and will be preceded by the six-song Four Winds EP, due out March 6. You can hear the first track from those sessions online at www.thisisbrighteyes.com. Starting in February, Oberst will be spending most of ’07 on tour. By the way, according to Billboard, Wide Awake and Digital Ash have, combined, sold more than 622,000 copies.
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Tonight at O’Leaver’s is Mike Tulis’ Rock Movie Night, this month featuring Haack: King of Techno. More details here. Starts at 9:30 and it’s free.
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