I do this only because nothing else is going on this week, except this avalanche of Saddle Creek news. It will continue with this week’s column (online tomorrow), which is about illegally downloading a copy of Bright Eyes Four Winds EP (and webboards and Creek and a one-paragraph review of the EP that includes a comparison to Matt Whipkey).
Anyway, yesterday’s “big news” (released presumably by his publicist) is that Bright Eyes has let loose the flock of doves that is the track listing for Cassadaga, from which eager BE fans will excitedly try to glean the true meaning of the album, which ain’t available until April. Press is supposed to get review copies in mid-March. That said, like Rolling Stone last month, Billboard got a sneak listen to the disc, which they wrote about here. Comments include references to swelling orchestras, Phil Spector and The Pogues, summed up with “The album leans heavily toward country-rock territory…” Big wow. Their comments aren’t much different than the RS “preview” that went online on Jan. 12, where the gushing writer said “Oberst seems to have solved the split personality problem by layering all of it – the optimistic strings and the gritty, impassioned vocals – together on track after spine-tingling track.” Spine tingling!
How did RS get special access to the recording before everyone else? I assume Conor is angling for the cover, and why not? If they can put lame-o acts like Panic at the Disco on the cover, why not feature the guy who they declared was the next Bob Dylan? It will happen. I know that SPIN also is working on a big Conor story. I got an e-mail from the magazine’s photo department a couple days ago asking for the source of the photos I used in my ’98 Oberst interview. I told them to contact Saddle Creek. This isn’t the first time that SPIN has bothered me for photos. Same thing happened last year when they were putting together a story on DCFC and found my blurry, out of focus, poorly lit photos of The Postal Service show from 2003. They wanted everything I shot. I told them, sure, but they suck, they’re low-res, they’re too dark, they’re unusable in your magazine. Just credit Lazy-i. I sent them and of course they weren’t used.
Anyway… Like everyone else, I’ll be sending in my request for a copy of Cassadaga and an interview with Conor. I’ll keep you posted on how well that goes this time.
What other news? Well, I noticed a few days ago that One Percent Productions has begun listing shows for The Waiting Room on their website, and today’s One Percent e-mail update also talks about the new venue. Glancing at the schedule, the first show listed at the new club is The Killigans March 16, which is followed by Murphy’s Law March 18, Dirty on Purpose March 28, and finally a band that I’ve heard before, Sondre Lerche with Willy Mason March 29. The prices are $8, $8, $6 and $12 respectively. Will there be a huge, unannounced Grand Opening performance? If I hear anything, I’ll let you know.
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