08.04.2014 news
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Video Premiere: Drive-By Truckers “Made Up English Oceans”

By Will Welch at GQ.  Read the full article here
Last month, the Drive-By Truckers released their tenth studio album, English Oceans. The band is a longtime favorite of quite a few people who have worked at this magazine over the years, and among GQ‘s DBT nerds, the songs written and sung by guitarist Mike Cooley are often particularly treasured. (By which we mean: quoted and air-guitared-to.) That’s in part because Cooley usually brings a couple hard-charging rockers to each album that channel Exile-era Stones, with the Tuscumbia, Alabama native doing some Keef-worthy rhythm guitar work. And it’s also because the guy is a hilarious, bawdry, and brilliant storyteller.

 

 

Last month, the Drive-By Truckers released their tenth studio album, English Oceans. The band is a longtime favorite of quite a few people who have worked at this magazine over the years, and among GQ‘s DBT nerds, the songs written and sung by guitarist Mike Cooley are often particularly treasured. (By which we mean: quoted and air-guitared-to.) That’s in part because Cooley usually brings a couple hard-charging rockers to each album that channel Exile-era Stones, with the Tuscumbia, Alabama native doing some Keef-worthy rhythm guitar work. And it’s also because the guy is a hilarious, bawdry, and brilliant storyteller.

Yet not all of those stories are so easy to parse. Cooley sometimes writes straightforward, linear narritives (see: his longtime crowd-favorite, “Zip City”) but other times the narrative is more fractured and obtuse. So when we had the opportunity to premiere the video for the Truckers’ new Cooley-written song “Made Up English Oceans” here, we jumped. But with a caveat: We wanted Mike to get on the phone from his home in Birmingham and help us understand exactly what the song is all about.

So allow us to set the stage, will you? “Made Up English Oceans” is written in the voice of Southern political consultant, cutthroat manipulator, and king of negative campaigning, Lee Atwater. Or a character like him. Atwater is selling his services to a candidate by explaining how easy the public is to fool—and making reference to timeless rock myths (like Rod Stewart supposedly having, um, bodily fluids pumped from his stomach) along the way. Check out the video above, and our interview with Cooley below.

···

What were the first threads of songwriting that became “Made Up English Oceans”?
It was a couple years before I finished it. The first thing I came up with was the chord progression. Lyrically, I was thinking about people who understand human nature well enough to push certain emotional buttons that will get other people, on a large scale, to do what that person wants them to do. And how, if you have that instinct, you can be very valuable to powerful people.

Topically, to capture that, the song obliquely references the old playground rumor about Rod Stewart. And the urban legend around Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.” Then morphs and bends from politics to bumper stickers and religion. Is that right?
They say when it comes to winning the hearts and minds of the South, it’s all about The Three Gs: god, guns, and gay stuff. So I tried to include all three of those.

I don’t know if I ever would’ve caught the lyrical reference to Rod Stewart, but you mentioned it while introducing the song at a recent acoustic show here in New York.
I’m hoping to get a letter or an email from Rod Stewart just pissed that I’m bringing it up again now, in his golden years. Where that rumor came from, nobody knows. I heard it on my playground in junior high school and it seems to be widespread. It was as viral as anything could go in the 1980s. Somehow that popped into my head and those lines just rolled right out. Those two lines, and the bit about Phil Collins writing “In the Air Tonight.” Urban legends about two British pop stars—that’s what it all comes to.

Can you explain the myth that surrounds “In the Air Tonight”?
Eminem actually mentions it in his song “Stan” real quickly—it goes by in a flash. I may get it wrong because I’ve heard it different ways but hell, it doesn’t matter, does it: The rumor was that Phil Collins was on a beach, and he couldn’t swim, but he saw someone drowning. And there was this other guy on the beach who could’ve saved the drowning guy but didn’t. And then the legend morphs into this thing where the guy who didn’t save the drowning guy was at a Phil Collins show, and Phil sang that lyric right to him. It’s complete bullshit, but a compelling narrative. And we’ll eat it up hook, line, and sinker. So in ["Made Up English Oceans"] you have a Lee-Atwater-type guy making his case about why he’s the man to bring people in and deliver them to [the candidate]. He’s saying, “Look at the idiotic stuff people believe just because they heard it from their idiot friends. So imagine if they heard it from a gentlemanly statesman who reminds them of a preacher.”

So it’s sort of like, if these ridiculous false truths can travel across English oceans and people will believe them, imagine what we can do from right here.
Right. And the Rod Stewart thing—I didn’t think about this of course when I was a kid, but when it got back on my mind I thought, Wow. It implies that there’s a toxicity to gay sex. Like, You can die from it man! And this was pre-AIDS.

Why did you have Lee Atwater on the brain?
Well, when I was thinking about people who understand human nature and use that to gain access to power, all roads lead to him. I was a kid when all that was going on and I didn’t pay much attention to it, but once I started looking up some stuff I thought he was as fascinating of a character as anyone I’ve ever seen. In a despicable kind of way. I also had this feeling that I would’ve liked the guy if I’d known him personally. He reminded me of people like Sam Phillips [of Sun Records] and Rick Hall from Muscle Shoals, and those were two people I’ve always been interested in. They were these ambitious Southern boys that went about their work in an almost diabolical, mad scientist kinda way. And all of them drew maps of previously uncharted territory that everyone that’s come after them has followed.

28.03.2014 news
KaiserChiefs_EducationEducationEducationWar_560

Kaiser Chiefs’ New Album, “Education, Education, Education & War,” Out Now!

Order on iTunes / Amazon / Official Store

KaiserChiefs_EducationEducationEducationWar_560

Fabulous… ‘Education, Education, Education & War’ rocks with spit, snarl and sparkle.”- David Fricke, Rolling Stone

 

Some songs “Coming Home” are made to fill Summer stadiums as the last light falls over the crowd…reminiscent of David Byrne’s best work” – GQ

 

There’s an extraordinary moment when a third unfamiliar tune, “Coming Home”, a U2/Kings of Leon-ish stadium-sized ballad, prompts an unexpected singsong.”-The Guardian

 

Leeds rock band the Kaiser Chiefs have released their fifth album, Education, Education, Education & War on ATO Records. The standout single “Coming Home,” recently hit No. 1 on the U.S. Alternative Specialty Radio charts, is currently in the Top 20 on the UK Airplay Charts. In the UK, “Coming Home” has also been added to A List Radio 2, A List Absolute, A List BBC 6Music, and A List XFM with Radio 1 support from Greg James & Zane Lowe.

The band recently visited the US for a few select performances, including stops in New York and Los Angeles. While they were in LA, Last Call With CarsonDaly came out to tape their sold out show at the El Rey. They also recorded a NPR World Café session while in the states, which will air on April 10th. In June, Kaiser Chiefs will return to North America again for a handful of live dates. See full routing below and visit http://www.kaiserchiefs.com/ for more information.

 

 

Education, Education, Education & War Track Listing

1. The Factory Gates

2. Coming Home

3. Misery Company

4. Ruffians On Parade

5. Meanwhile Up In Heaven

6. One More Last Song

7. My Life

8. Bows & Arrows

9. Cannons

10. Roses

 

Kaiser Chiefs Tour Dates

6/11       Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom

6/13       Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue

6/15       Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew’s Hall

6/17       Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues

6/18       Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club

6/20       New York, NY @ Webster Hall

6/21-22 Dover, DE @ Firefly Festival

27.03.2014 news
Bob-Dylan-80s

“Bob Dylan in the 80s: Volume One” Out Now

Order Now on iTunes/Amazon/Official Store

Out today, Bob Dylan In The 80s: Volume One  is a tribute album to Bob’s 1980s catalog, covering the period that starts with 1980’s Saved and ends with 1990’s Under The Red Sky. The brainchild of producers Jesse Lauter (Elvis Perkins, The Low Anthem) and Sean O’Brien (Dawes, PAPA), the mission of Bob Dylan In The 80s: Volume One is to shed new light on a large cache of Bob Dylan songs that are often overshadowed by his 60s & 70s output and songs from his later career renaissance. Rolling Stone notes “Amazingly, the album makes a completely convincing case for sniffed-at Dylan songs like “Brownsville Girl” and “Wiggle Wiggle.” Such pieces have never been covered before — amazing since Dylan may be the most-covered artist of the last 50 years, save the Beatles”, and NY Daily News adds “It’s a pleasure to hear Dylan’s 80’s understated gospel, bluesy rock, and pop rescued from its shamefully dated production. Any Dylan fan lucky enough to already hold the occasional 80’s gem like “Sweetheart Like You,” “Dark Eyes,” and “Pressing On” in high regard will only find their love for some of Dylan’s best 80’s tunes deepened by fitting covers from Craig Finn, Dawnes Landes & Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and Glen Hansard, respectively.”

 

 

In the liner notes to this collection, New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Lethem (Motherless BrooklynFortress of Solitude) writes, “In the famously difficult art of going up against Dylan’s performance of his own material, a number of these reach the highest threshold. I hope Bob Dylan listens to this record, and plays it for his current touring band.”

 

TRACKLIST:
Langhorne Slim & The Law – Got My Mind Made Up
Built To Spill – Jokerman
Reggie Watts – Brownsville Girl (Reprise)
Craig Finn – Sweetheart Like You
Ivan & Alyosha – You Changed My Life
Deer Tick – Night After Night
Dawn Landes & Bonnie “Prince” Billie – Dark Eyes
Tea Leaf Green – Waiting To Get Beat
Aaron Freeman & Slash – Wiggle Wiggle
Elvis Perkins – Congratulations
Hannah Cohen – Covenant Woman
Marco Benevento – Every Grain of Sand
Yellowbirds – Series of Dreams
Blitzen Trapper – Unbelievable
Lucius – When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky
Glen Hansard – Pressing On
Carl Broemel – Death Is Not The End

18.03.2014 news
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Wall Street Journal Premieres “Bob Dylan in the 80s: Vol 1″

 Click Here to Listen on Wall Street Journal’s Website

The brainchild of producers Jesse Lauter (Elvis Perkins, The Low Anthem) and Sean O’Brien (Dawes, PAPA), the mission of Bob Dylan In The 80s: Volume One is to shed new light on a large cache of Bob Dylan songs that have long gone ignored, covering the period starting with 1980’s Saved and ending with 1990’s Under The Red Sky (including unreleased material — the “80s Basement Tapes” — and The Traveling Wilburys). Album contributors include: Built To Spill, Aaron Freeman of Ween & Slash, Glen Hansard, Reggie Watts, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Lucius, Langhorne Slim, Craig Finn Of The Hold Steady, Deer Tick, Dawn Landes, Blitzen Trapper, Carl Broemel Of My Morning Jacket, Elvis Perkins and more.

 

 

TRACKLIST:
Langhorne Slim & The Law – Got My Mind Made Up
Built To Spill – Jokerman
Reggie Watts – Brownsville Girl (Reprise)
Craig Finn – Sweetheart Like You
Ivan & Alyosha – You Changed My Life
Deer Tick – Night After Night
Dawn Landes & Bonnie “Prince” Billie – Dark Eyes
Tea Leaf Green – Waiting To Get Beat
Aaron Freeman & Slash – Wiggle Wiggle
Elvis Perkins – Congratulations
Hannah Cohen – Covenant Woman
Marco Benevento – Every Grain of Sand
Yellowbirds – Series of Dreams
Blitzen Trapper – Unbelievable
Lucius – When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky
Glen Hansard – Pressing On
Carl Broemel – Death Is Not The End

 

Music Hall of Williamsburg will be hosting a release show on March 24th to celebrate the release.  Click here for tickets.

12.03.2014 news
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The Belle Brigade’s New Album, ‘Just Because’ Out Now!

Belle Brigade’s New Album, Just Because, Out Today!!

Get your copy at iTunes/Amazon/ Official Store

 

The Belle Brigade’s knockout of a new album…channels the dining guitars and precise vocal harmonies that define so much L.A. pop, from the Eagles to that other rising family band, Haim.” - LOS ANGELES TIMES

“A California dreamin’ band on the brink of making it big”TIME

“DNA plus inspiration can be a potent combination.” - UNCUT UK

 

The Belle Brigade’s new record Just Because is out now! They are the darlings of LA and about to head on tour with Ray LaMontagne as his backing band and his tour support in May!

 

Founded by siblings Barbara and Ethan Gruska, The Belle Brigade’s music is artfully arranged, with enticing melodies and pop harmonies, fueled by the interplay of driving rhythms between Barbara’s drums and Ethan’s guitar. Both are gifted songwriters- finding inspiration in the works of Peter Gabriel. John Lennon, The Beach Boys, Sly Stone, Harry Nilsson, and countless others.

 

Watch the video for their first single “Ashes!”

 

 

TOUR DATES WITH RAY LAMONTAGNE:

5/27 Portland, ME – Cumberland County Civic Center

5/28 Shelburne, VT – The Green at Shelburne Museum

5/30 Boston, MA – Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

6/01 Canandaigua, NY – Constellation Brands – Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center

6/03 Wallingford, CT – Toyota Presents Oakdale

6/04 Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion

6/06 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE

6/07 Camden, NJ – Susquehanna Bank Center

6/08 Toronto, ON – Massey Hall

6/09 Toronto, ON – Massey Hall

6/11 Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Pavilion @ Nautica

6/13 Indianapolis, IN – The Lawn @ White River

6/14 Cincinnati, OH – PNC Pavilion @ Riverbend Music Center

6/15 Detroit, MI – Meadow Brook

6/17 Peoria, IL – Civic Center Theatre

6/18 St. Louis, MO – Fox Theatre

6/20 Lincoln, NE – Pinewood Bowl Amphitheatre

6/24 Kansas City, MO – Starlight Amphitheatre

6/27 Chicago, IL – FirstMerit Bank Pavilion

7/10 Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall

7/11 Orlando, FL – Bob Carr Performing Arts Center

7/12 Miami, FL – Fillmore

7/15 Jacksonville, FL – Florida Theatre

7/16 Charleston, SC – North Charleston PAC

7/18 Alpharetta, GA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

7/19 Birmingham, AL – BJCC Concert Hall

7/20 Louisville, KY – Forecastle Festival

7/22 Interlochen, MI – Kresge Auditorium

7/23 Grand Rapids, MI – Meijer Gardens

7/25 Nashville, TN – The Woods at Fontanel

7/26 Raleigh, NC – The Red Hat Amphitheater

7/27 Floyd, VA – FloydFest

7/29 Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Theatre

7/30 Memphis, TN – Orpheum

8/01Austin, TX – Long Center

8/02 Dallas, TX – Music Hall at Fair Park

8/03 Houston, TX – Jones Hall

8/05 Santa Fe, NM – The Downs of Santa Fe

8/07 Morrison, CO – Red Rocks

8/08 Salt Lake City, UT – Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre

8/12 Troutdale, OR – Edgefield

8/13 Seattle, WA – Marymoor Park

 

09.03.2014 news
ATOSXSWINVITE

Join ATO at South By Southwest

Come join ATO at our first ever SXSW day party at the Billy Reid Shindig at Weather Up and download our free SXSW sampler here!

RSVP HERE

 

ATOSXSWINVITE

LINEUP
12:00-12:30 Jonny Fritz
12:50-1:30 majestico
1:50-2:30 Rhett Miller of Old 97′s
2:50-3:30 Jessica Lea Mayfield
3:50-4:30 “Les Claypool”‘s Duo de Twang
4:50-5:30 Benjamin Booker
5:50-6:35 Hurray for the Riff Raff
7:00-7:50 J Roddy Walston and The Business

07.03.2014 news
ato_records_spring_sampler

ATO Records Spring Sampler is Here!!

Spring is FINALLY here and that means a new ATO sampler.  Our Spring sampler features 15 of our favorite tracks from new and upcoming ATO releases.  Enjoy!

 

 

Track Listing
1. Benjamin Booker - Violent Shiver
2. J. Roddy Walston & The Business – Take It As It Comes
3. Hurray for the Riff Raff – I Know It’s Wrong (But That’s Alright)
4. Jessica Lea Mayfield – Oblivious
5. Kaiser Chiefs – Coming Home
6. Rodrigo y Gabriela – The Soundmaker
7. The Belle Brigade – Likely to Use Something
8. Mike Gordon – Yarmouth Road
9. Drive-By Truckers – Pauline Hawkins
10. Majestico – I Just Want To
11. Old 97’s – Longer Than You’ve Been Alive
12. Midlake – The Old And The Young
13. Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang – Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver
14. Old Crow Medicine Show – Marching Through Georgia (from Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War)
15. Built To Spill – Jokerman (from A Tribute to Bob Dylan in the 80s: Vol 1)

07.03.2014 news
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Drive-By Truckers Performed “Shit Shots Count” on Conan

Last night, Drive-By Truckers played a fiery rendition of English Oceans cut “Shit Shots Counts” on Conan. If you missed it, or if one viewing just wasn’t enough, be sure to check it out below

 

 

In addition, here’s the glowing review on NPR All Things Considered from Robert Christgau calling the ENGLISH OCEANS “a true comeback… this isn’t just a major album by a major band but something new,” and saying of the band, “The Drive-By Truckers could retire tomorrow pretty sure that the South will never spawn a better songwriting band.”

 

http://www.npr.org/2014/03/06/286886174/album-review-english-oceans-by-drive-by-truckers

07.03.2014 news
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ATO Welcomes Benjamin Booker, Watch “Violent Shiver” Album Teaser

ATO is excited to announce the signing of Benjamin Booker, a young New Orleans based singer-songwriter. Described as “a well-mixed musical cocktail of punk, folk, and New Orleans blues”, Booker cites his influences as The Gun Club, Blind Willie Johnson, and T. Rex. Benjamin’s self-titled debut album, produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray For The Riff Raff) will be released Fall 2014 on ATO (USA) / Rough Trade (Europe)

 

An esteemed colleague had this to say about Benjamin’s music:

“It’s exciting, raw, soulful, and has a brilliant relentless beat, that only those who love rock and roll truly understand.” 

 

here’s a video from forthcoming single “Violent Shiver” (7″ out in May)

 

 

06.03.2014 news
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Old 97′s New Album, ‘Most Messed Up,’ Premiered on “The New Yorker”

Catch The New Yorker’s Premiere of The Old 97′s single, Nashville
Pre-Order Most Messed Up iTunes/Amazon

 

Head over to The New Yorker to listen to the premiere of “Nashville”, and read Rhett’s revealing interview!

 

“The new album from the Old 97’s, “Most Messed Up,” is blistered, blasted, and brilliant: song after song about the diminishing returns of the road, the ravages of early middle age, and the equally damaging effects of too much thinking and too much drinking. Rhett Miller’s songs are the bloodiest he’s written in years, largely the result of self-laceration, but they hold out hope for hope. This week, we début “Nashville,” one of the record’s standouts. Miller agreed to answer a few questions about the song and the album.”

 

The Old 97′s emerged from Dallas twenty years ago at the forefront of a musical movement blending rootsy, country-influenced songwriting with punk rock energy. ‘Most Messed Up’ follows their recent two-volume set, ‘The Grand Theatre,’ which found the band as “lifers writing for keeps,” according to Rolling Stone, and their 2013 EP featuring Waylon Jennings, ‘Old 97′s & Waylon Jennings.’
The Old 97′s New album is out everywhere April 29th!

 

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