Monthly Archives: July 2012

MISS SHEVAUGHN & YUMA WRAY ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES! DEBUT LP “WE’RE FROM HERE” OUT SEP. 11TH

We’re From Here, a Simple Answer to a Complicated Question

Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray spent all of last year on the road, and without fail at every show, someone would ask, “So, where are you from?,” which would always lead to a bit of stammering, “Well, Miss Shevaughn was born in Arkansas and grew up in Louisiana, Yuma grew up internationally. We met in D.C. then again in Chicago…” To further complicate matters, Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray had to leave behind their lives and apartment in Chicago in order to be able to afford to be on the road full-time. That left the duo living in their Honda Element for most of 2011.

We’re From Here is a simple answer to that complicated question. Written and recorded over a year on the road, this debut album is a classic American road trip story, unfolding both the personal and family histories as well as the musical influences informing both songwriters.

“We discovered so many wonderful people and places in our travels. We also discovered that there was a rock band inside of us waiting to come out.” – Miss Shevaughn

The addition of a drummer brings this discovery to life, expanding the band’s dynamic palette as they move from sparse folk ballad to psychedelic swamp stomp. It’s an album reminiscent of young Rock & Roll, curious and exuberant, not afraid to borrow from its forefathers and bucking the idea of being pigeonholed into a subgenre.

From the opening strains of “Go Hang,” the lamentation of a life wasted in a dead end town to the final soft note of “Anniversary Song,” the realization that one may have actually been home the entire time, We’re From Here serves as a map of sorts, a suggested travel route exploring American music, identity and the concept of home.

“We challenged ourselves in putting this record together, but we also had a lot of fun. We hope that you can find a similar experience in these songs.” – Yuma Wray

Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray will also be traversing this fine country this fall as part of their tour in support of We’re From Here.

MISS SHEVAUGHN & YUMA WRAY TOUR DATES
9/3 Martyr’s – Chicago, IL (sneak peek CD release preview)

9/10 Black Cat – Washington DC (actual album release show)

9/13 The Acoustic Coffeehouse – Johnson City, TN

9/14 Deep South (The Bar) – Raleigh, NC

9/15 Common Market – Charlotte, NC

9/16 Fullsteam Tavern – Durham, NC

9/17 The Radio Room – Greenville, SC

9/18 Home Team BBQ – Charleston, SC

9/19 The Wormhole – Savannah, GA

9/20 Underbelly – Jacksonville, FL

9/22 Moonlight On The Mountain – Birmingham, AL

9/24 The P&H – Memphis, TN

9/26 Third Street Dive – Louisville, KY

9/27 Gene’s Beergarden – Morgantown, WV

9/28 Ray Kelly’s Pub – Bridgeport, CT

10/3 The Beat Rust – Lewiston, ME

10/4 Port City Blue – Portland, ME

10/5 Red Hook Bait & Tackle – Brooklyn, NY

10/12 Quenchers Saloon – Chicago, IL

10/13 Jackson Ave. Coffee – Charleston, IL

10/18 Cherrywood Coffeehouse – Austin, TX

10/21 Cowgirl BBQ – Santa Fe, NM

[more dates to be announced soon]

FEEL FREE TO DOWNLOAD & POST THEIR NEW SONG “THE RIVER MADE ME DO IT” FROM WE’RE FROM HERE
http://soundcloud.com/pavement-pr/miss-shevaughn-yuma-wray-the

FOR MORE INFO ON MISS SHEVAUGHN & YUMA WRAY:
http://www.missshevaughnyumawray.com
https://twitter.com/yumawray
http://tillthewheelscomeoff.tumblr.com/

FOR MEDIA & INTERVIEW REQUESTS:
Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775
e: bonyata@wi.rr.com
http://www.pavementpr.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PavementPR
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PavementPublicRelations

RELIX PREMIERE’S BUFFALO KILLERS’ NEW ALBUM “DIG. SOW. LOVE. GROW.” IN ITS ENTIRETY!

RELIX Magazine is featuring the word premiere full-album audio stream of Buffalo Killers’ new LP Dig. Sow. Love. Grow. (out Tue. Aug. 7th on Alive Records). Head over here at Relix.com to listen to this awesome record!

THE SIGHTS SCORE LOADS OF MEDIA LOVE AS PART OF THEIR TOUR W/ TENACIOUS D!

Detroit’s The Sights have been turning on thousands of fans in many of the nation’s finest music venues as part of their summer tour with Tenacious D. As you can see from all the features, interviews, show previews and album reviews below it appears that media has been riding shotgun with the boys for damn near the whole trip so far….

THE BIG TAKEOVER (national quarterly music magazine) – Positive album review in Michael Toland’s Top Ten.
Michael Toland’s Top Ten — July 29
by Michael Toland
The Sights – Left Over Right (self-released)
Given how long the Sights have been bashing away, it’s amazing that the band hasn’t surfed the same wave of semi-popularity as their fellow Detroit contemporaries. Here, dashes of Beatlesque piano pop join the band’s usual melodic garage rock and R&B-flavored power pop for another ripsnorting good time. Picks to click: “Not As Pretty,” “Mercy”
http://www.bigtakeover.com/top-ten/Michael-Toland-120729

MOTOR CITY ROCKS (Detroit online music site) – Positive album review with album art and related link.
ALBUM REVIEW: THE SIGHTS – LEFT OVER RIGHT
The Sights’ new record Left Over Right is a sweet collection of high-energy rock and soul from this Detroit quintet who have been pounding the pavement for some 14+ years now.  I instantly latched on to the fast and poppy stuff, but after about a listen-and-a-half I was starting to fall head-first into their slower, catchy grooves and infectious hooks too.  Fans of Sloan will easily relate to the up-tempo tracks (Left Over Right, Anything to Anyone) but the core of this record is the more groove heavy, slower tracks like Prayer and You Are the Sunshine.  Then there’s the 70’s am-radio gem Mercy, which kicks in sort of lo-fi before taking on the warm, full production prevalent throughout the rest of the record, and the surprise-left-turn countrified closer Easy Living that wouldn’t be out of place next to Glen Campbell or the Ozark Mountain Daredevils circa 1975.
It seems apparent that great thought went into what goes where – this organ riff, that sax solo, a double vocal here, a dropout there, but the record does not come across as overthought.  Taking it all in does require a commitment from the listener, though.  The deepest pop-hooks are the ones that you pick up after hearing a song a couple times.  “Hey – I remember that from when I listened to this yesterday!” rather than the easy shots taken by lesser-songwriters and producers that grab you right away but fade quickly as the record is passed over for the next new thing.  The Sights have it down and the reward is at the creamy center.  This one will be in rotation for a while.  Keep an eye out for these guys who will hopefully be doing some more local gigs when they return from supporting Tenacious D. on tour all Summer!
http://www.sightsarmy.com/thesights/
http://motorcityrocks.com/2012/07/album-review-sights-left/

303 MAGAZINE (Denver monthly A&E magazine) – Feature with Eddie interview with photos, video and related links to preview Red Rocks show
Event Horizon: The Sights & Tenacious D
by Sal Christ
Yo, Detroit by way of Denver! Show your hands for some hometown mischief makers as the Sights prepare to tackle their first appearance at Red Rocks tonight with none other than Tenacious D.
This raucous quintet proffer hooky guitar riffs and a vibrancy missing from much of the rock scene in recent years and released their seventh album, Left Over Right, on June 19th. Fans of fellow Detroit band The White Stripes will appreciate the heart-thumping tunes that lead singer Eddie Baranek and his bandmates bang out.
Baranek had this to say in a brief Q & A precluding the band’s arrival in Denver for tonight’s gig.
Is this your first time playing at Red Rocks?
Yes, but we’ve played Denver many times–it’s a great city.
What can Sights newbies expect at the live show?
One can expect a balls out, high-energy “rock-n-roll” with no BS.
Favorite part of the tour so far?
Earning the opportunity to play your songs in front of thousands every night…I’m grateful.
Any plans to take part in any of the microbrews that Denver offers?
Yes! Maybe a nice young lady can help me open a bottle or two.
Most outrageous recording session for the new record?
Actually, we’re sort of reserved in the studio. We like coffee, cashews and try to maintain a sense of order. Try…
What are your favorite songs off Left Over Right?
While it is difficult to pick, I think “Left Over Right” and “Fool” have a long shelf life and will stick around a bit. It felt good writing them and they’re fun as hell to play live.
Dream collaborators (dead or alive)?
I wouldn’t mind doing a 45 with Ian “Mac” McLagan of the Small Faces or maybe Jenny Lewis.
What’s playing on your iPod right now?
Some Crabby Appleton, a little Ennio Morricone spaghetti western soundtrack stuff and the Compulsive Gamblers.
The Sights play with Tenacious D at Red Rocks Amphitheatre tonight, 8 p.m.
http://303magazine.com/2012/07/event-horizon-the-sights-tenacious-d/

THE REBEL YELL (Las Vegas college weekly) – Las Vegas  review of Tenacious D’s show with positive mention of The Sights.
The opening band had a hard road ahead of them; opening for Tenacious D is no easy task. Fortunately for them — and the audience — Yet The Sights rose to the occasion. With high energy and exceptional musicianship, the Sights banged out a style of rock that could be described as a clash between The Rolling Stones and Arcade Fire.
If there was anything to take away from their set, it was that these guys know how to play their instruments. Guitar solos, drum solos and even a saxophone solo made an appearance in the 30 minute opening act.
http://www.unlvrebelyell.com/2012/07/31/tenacious-d-show-cut-short-after-fan-stabbing/

KANSAS CITY STAR (Kansas City daily) – Show review of Tenacious D’s show with brief mention of The Sights in their Back To Rockville music blog.
“a Detroit-based band dedicated to reviving rowdy garage rock”
http://backtorockville.typepad.com/back_to_rockville/2012/07/review-tenacious-d.html

JESTER JAY MUSIC (online music blog) – Positive Red Rocks show review with photos and related links,
Concert review – Tenacious D with The Sights
26 July 2012 (Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison CO)
The show contrasted a serious young band full of nervous energy and a well practiced, experienced headliner. Both acts gave fair value with strong sets.

The Sights were out of their element. This tour is certainly exposing them to some large audiences and Red Rocks is long way from the Michigan bars back home. Where a lesser band might have been cowed, The Sights stepped up with their incredible bar band energy and played large enough to own the stage.

Eddie Baranek’s manic stage presence comes through in The Sights’ YouTube clips, but he was even more amped as he strutted the stage here. The whole band was hyped as they pounded through the relatively short set.

They mostly favored the new album, Left Over Right (review), but they pulled out some older cuts, too. I loved Baranek’s wicked guitar jam kicking off the bluesy rocker, (Nose to the) Grindstone.

The Sights emphasized their rocker side, which was appropriate for a Tenacious D crowd. So, they toned down some of their soul sound. Still, their tight pop harmonies sweetened the mix.

They wrapped up the set with an amazing version of Fool (I Can’t Stop Making Out With You). Baranek set his guitar down on the edge of the stage and let it feedback in an extended version of the album track’s tease intro. Then, he took the mic with his harp and threw down against Dean Tartaglia’s wailing sax. The vocals still reminded me of Eric Burdon and the Animals, but with the band off their leashes. Tartaglia doubled down on free jazz sax riffs, playing two saxes at the same time. Kyle Schanta’s heavy bass lines anchored the tune.

Sweaty and spent, the band took their bows at the end. They seemed a little shell-shocked. Eddie Baranek looked dazed as he thanked us for the “Best night ever”. No, Eddie. Thank you.
http://jesterjaymusic.blogspot.com/2012/07/concert-review-tenacious-d-with-sights.html

RIVERFRONT TIMES (St. Louis weekly) – Photo gallery of The Sights at The Pageant.
http://www.riverfronttimes.com/slideshow/tenacious-d-37381380/1/

DAVECHMIL (online music blog) – Positive album review with album art and related links
Album Review – “Left Over Right” – The Sights
July 24, 2012 by davechmil

The fifth studio album from Detroit rockers The Sights starts exactly the way you’d expect it to – earth shaking & electrifying. Left Over Right displays their take-no-prisoners style of rock n’ roll and blends British-style rock with the quintessential sounds of the Motor City. The result is enthralling and best enjoyed LOUD! When I saw this band back in 2003 (for the first time), they played so intensely that the paint was literally peeling from the walls. It was of such pure sonic quality, that it actually sounded better as they became louder! I’m sure that The Sights Army would agree with me…

If you’re not familiar with their discography, please start with their self-titled album The Sights. Songs from this particular record have been featured on major motion pictures such as “Just Friends” and “Wedding Crashers”.

The Sights have been touring non-stop this summer opening for the likes of Jack Black and Tenacious D. Eddie Baranek (leader of the The Sights) and Jack Black are brothers cut from the same cloth in that they are both involved (at one time or another) in the School of Rock.

Their latest album, Left Over Right opens with a fierce and frenetic track possessing the same name as the album. Lush background harmonies frolic around the verse and chorus creating a robust, atmospheric quality to this track. Eddie Baranek seems to reflect on past experiences and emotions he felt as a young man trying to fit into the scene. He symbolically describes a new phase in life, one that he embraces with confidence and pride: “In my rear view mirror / are all my peers / broken promises and tears / the end is near”. He doesn’t reminisce very long and by the end of the song, the singer is peeling out in a 500HP Chevy Corvette leaving his past in a wake of smoke and exhaust.
“Fool” starts out with Eddie Baranek pining away on a distorted and feedback induced harmonica solo. The horn section chimes in and fattens up the chorus as Eddie wails “I can’t stop making out with you”. The dynamics shift on a dime from a confessional whisper, to blaring horns and explosive drumming – all the while maintaining control and deliberateness.

“Mercy” literally “brings you to your knees” on the fourth track – providing no respite to the guitar and piano driven onslaught. “Bad Man” brings the mood to a reflective state – and shows a more serene and introspective side of Baranek. Various piano sounds swirl around the listeners head during the bridge, while the guitars pan from the left to the right speaker in a clever manner. “Anything to Anyone” continues the introspective theme by showcasing the softer and melodic side of The Sights. Baranek prods and asks “that if it all went away / would you still stay?”. Dean Tartaglia adds suspense to Baranek’s question via a tasteful yet mournful saxophone solo.

“You are the Sunshine” is a cute and quirky ditty complete with whistling and goofy vocals. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a great song and all but it seems a little out of place on this album. However, I respect that Eddie “throws a bone” to the other members by occasionally featuring them on a tune or two.

“Easy Living” starts out like a gregorian chant and sets a serious and somber tone. The mood quickly changes and unfolds into a breezy, countrified gem. After picking up some steam, the tune chugs along like a coal-driven train slithering through the Smoky Mountains.

Comfortable in his own skin, Baranek clearly understands his role on this Earth. Not all of us are so lucky to know why we are here. However, Eddie confesses to the listener that “One thing’s for certain / I’m trying to be a better person” – and that’s something prophetic that the listener can take away from this record. So even though you might be on the right path, you must still strive to better yourself each and every day.

Overall I think Left Over Right is more cohesive and focused than their last record. And after this summer’s tour supporting Tenacious D, you can expect that the Sights will return to the studio with even greater tenacity than ever before. Not only has Eddie become a better songwriter over the years, but his band has consistently stepped up to the plate – elevating his vision of what rock n’ roll is really about.
http://davechmil.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/album-review-left-over-right-the-sights/

ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH (St. Louis daily) – Show review of Tenacious D’s show with positive mention of The Sights’ performance.
The Detroit-based band the Sights made the most of its brief opening set, playing a half hour of glorious ’60s-style garage rock including “How Do You Sleep” and “Fool (I Can’t Stop Making Out with You).”
http://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/music/reviews/tenacious-d-brings-raucous-party-to-the-pageant/article_cfa693f6-d5af-11e1-b637-001a4bcf6878.html

AUSTINIST (Austin A&E site) – Show review of Tenacious D’s show with brief mention of The Sights’ performance, with photos.
Opening act The Sights from Detroit did an able job of warming up the assembling masses, many of whom had lined up early that day for the chance to be front-and-center for the show.
http://austinist.com/2012/07/23/tenacious_d_at_the_austin_music_hal.php#photo-1

THE BACKSTAGE BEAT (Atlanta music site) – Show review of Tenacious D’s show with Sights photos gallery.
http://atlanta.thebackstagebeat.com/2012/06/tenacious-d-and-the-sights-at-the-tabernacle/

DALLAS OBSERVER (Dallas weekly) – Show review of Tenacious D’s show with mention of The Sights’ performance.
Tenacious D, The Sights
Palladium Ballroom
Friday, July 20
Detroit’s The Sights might have fared better opening for Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights. The five-piece’s sound, which had callbacks to the MC5 and Exile On Main Street-era Stones, was satisfying, but it just didn’t seem to fit on a Tenacious D bill.
http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/dc9/2012/07/tenacious_d_the_sights_-_palla.php

TULSA WORLD (Tulsa weekly) – Show review of Tenacious D’s show with positive mention of The Sights’ performance.
Opening act The Sights opened with a set of late-’60s and mid-’70s-era rock and roll, complete with saxophone and and tambourine and harmonica and big beat drums and even a Hammond organ.
Their garage sound swaggered with influences ranging from punk to glam, blues to the Kinks to Queen.
http://www.tulsaworld.com/blogs/post.aspx?PHOTOS__REVIEW_Tenacious_D_at_Brady_Theater/29-16158

KDHX RADIO (St. Louis community Radio) – Stripped-down studio session Mon. July 23rd 11am-1pm . Session also featured on their website with photo gallery and positive write-up.
The Sights 7/23/12
Written by Chris Bay
Call it garage soul, call it ragged power pop, or simply call it rock ‘n’ roll. But whatever the label, the appeal of the raucous typhoon that erupts when the Sights kick into gear is undeniable.
The Detroit-based quintet — featuring Eddie Baranek (guitar and vocals), Jarrod Champion (keyboards and vocals), Dean Tartaglia (saxophone and vocals), Kyle Schanta (bass) and Skip Denomme (drums) — performed live at 88.1 KDHX while on tour in support of their most recent record, “Left Over Right.” The session featured 4 songs from that release, including the organ- and sax-led romp “Not As Pretty,” as well as the title track, which features a fierce four-on-the-floor rhythm and jagged, squalling guitar.
http://kdhx.org/music/live-performances/the-sights-7-23-12

THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL (Memphis, TN daily) – Positive album review with album art, tour dates, LOR mp3 and related links.
Garage rock band the Sights continues to grow its profile
By Bob Mehr

Eddie Baranek, the singer, songwriter, guitarist and mainstay of Detroit band the Sights, has always been an object of fascination to those in the know.
A garage rock prodigy of sorts, Baranek seems to have been blessed with an uncanny ability to evoke the best work of Humble Pie, Badfinger and Mott the Hoople in his songs — often in the same tune.

Though long beloved by more discerning music fans, Baranek and the Sights have been turning on new audiences lately, spending the summer touring as the opening act for comedy-rock combo Tenacious D. “It’s a pretty macho testosterone-heavy crowd …,” says Baranek of the shows. “We’ve always played to a hipster rock scene. So it’s been a great opportunity to get in front of different people.”
In between Tenacious D gigs, the Sights have been doing a handful of club dates. The band will make its much-belated Memphis debut with a show at the Hi-Tone Café on Tuesday.

Baranek formed the group in the mid-1990s while he was still in high school, and the Sights’ twisting journey has been his own life story as well. “It is weird for me to have grown up in this band,” he says. “It started out as a fun thing, a way to get free beer and talk to girls,” he says.

“Over the years, it does morph and evolve and change. Now I have a mortgage; my priorities are different. You grow up a little bit. But along the way there’s always that thread of passion — if you don’t have that passion, then you need to get out.”
In 2002 the Sights released its sophomore album, Got What We Want. A minor masterpiece, it came out in the midst of the White Stripes-inspired frenzy over Motor City garage rock. “When we first started, ‘garage’ was an adjective we would use to describe ourselves. As time went by and the media went crazy over ‘Detroit garage rock,’ we tried to stay away from that tag,” says Baranek.

“It certainly was an element of who we were; we were reflecting what we were listening to. But being from Detroit — and it’s probably the same as being from Memphis — there’s was always huge soul/R&B grit to it too. Plus, I always felt a little bit more pop than a lot of Detroit bands. Basically, we weren’t limited to one thing.”

With an abundance of talent and a tart personality, Baranek and the Sights were on a fast track, generating critical praise in America, loads of attention in the U.K., and touring with the likes of Robert Plant and the Donnas.

In 2004 the Sights signed with the well-heeled New Line record label — an offshoot of the film company — and released a self-titled LP the following year that was supposed to have been the band’s breakthrough.

Though the record sold well enough to warrant a follow-up, Baranek’s subsequent demos were received coolly by the band’s label and publisher. Things began to go south and the Sights’ momentum sputtered.
“Back then I would’ve blamed New Line and pointed fingers. But I was young and stupid, and didn’t realize the whole music industry was going down the toilet at the time,” says Baranek.

After a nearly a decade, where he’d grown from fresh-faced schoolboy to rock star in waiting, Baranek had hit a wall. He decided to put the Sights on hold at the end of 2007. “I’d lost the passion, and that was scary,” he says. “I sorta crawled in a hole, went back to school, tried to get a degree.”

Baranek later began student teaching English literature and working with kids at a local School of Rock. “I got my life together and didn’t worry about the Sights. But there was always this gnawing, nagging thing in the back of my head — like, ‘Come on, man; you’re still hungry. Get off your ass and do this.'”

Following a five-year gap, Baranek finally re-emerged with a reconstituted Sights lineup for the 2010 LP Most of What Follows Is True, a largely autobiographical work — a mix of chugging ’70s rock and pastoral pop — that perfectly captured Baranek’s musical evolution.

After touring in support of the disc, Baranek followed up relatively quickly, writing songs for the recently released Left Over Right. Unlike past efforts, the new album is less bluesy and guitar-driven, and offers a more R&B-oriented sound, built around horns and keys.
“I don’t know how conscious I was of it, but I was getting tired of playing guitar,” says Baranek. “Most of this record was written on a piano at my house. It’s actually an old, out-of-tune piano that I got when my grandparents passed away.”

“I left it in that busted-out tuning; I guess I didn’t want to fix it, since it’s how it was when they were alive. But I would I just write on that, and I think that’s why the songs are in distinct keys and have a different flavor to them.”

Recorded with longtime engineer/producer Jim Diamond, Baranek and a revolving crew of musicians cut the album sporadically over a six-month period. “It took a couple band members leaving and joining to get it done,” says Baranek, chuckling. “I had like seven guys on this record.”

The current Sights lineup — a five-piece featuring Jarrod Champion (keyboards/vocals), Dean Tartaglia (saxophone/vocals), Kyle Schanta (bass) and Skip Denomme (drums) — has proved Baranek’s most adroit backing crew.

As its only consistent member, the Sights have long been a vehicle for Baranek, and he’s occasionally considered, then resisted, suggestions he “go solo.”

“I am the only constant in the band,” he says. “But I never wanted to change it or call it something else. I can’t detach myself from my baby, I guess.”

Since resuming the band’s career a couple years ago, Baranek has seen the Sights continue to grow its profile. The group’s music has been getting a steady stream of film and commercial placements — including a couple for hometown carmaker Chevrolet.
“I feel like it’s finally coming to me. Frankly, it’s the result of a lot of hard work,” he says. “I’m happy doing this and — it probably sounds strange — but I feel more like myself than I ever have.”
The Sights, Shana Falana
9 p.m. Tuesday at the Hi-Tone Cafe, 1913 Poplar. Tickets: $5, available at hitonememphis.com or at the door. Call 901-278-8663.
http://www.gomemphis.com/news/2012/jul/12/garage-rock-band-the-sights-continues-to-grow/

BLURT  (National music monthly magazine) – “Left Over Right” mp3 premiere with band photo, tour dates and positive write-up.
MP3: New Sights
By Blurt Staff
Detroit’s garage/power pop monsters The Sights, fronted for the past decade and a half by Eddie Baranek (guitar/vocals), have just released their seventh effort, Left Over Right, the followup to 2010’s Most of What Follows Is True (reviewed here at BLURT). On it, Baranek is joined by Jarrod Champion (keyboards/vocals), Dean Tartaglia (saxophone/vocals), Kyle Schanta (bass) and Skip Denomme (drums) where they deliver not only their most soulful album to date, but do it with all of the intensity that has fueled their previous recordings and live shows for well over a decade.
http://blurt-online.com/news/view/6467/

AUSTIN EXAMINER (Austin A&E site) – Feature interview with Eddie to preview Austin show, with band photo and related links.
10 Questions with Eddie Baranek of The Sights
By: Thomas McAleer

Eddie Baranek is the frontman of The Sights (www.sightsarmy.com) who are on tour this summer supporting Tenacious D, having just released their full length cd “Left Over Right”. They are coming to Austin Music Hall tomorrow night, July 19. Eddie recently answered 10 questions for me.

Who are your songwriting influences?
*My ex-girlfriend, mainly. But I am also influenced by Alex Chilton/Big Star, Jenny Lewis, Tim Hardin, Otis Redding. It all starts with a good song.

When and where was your first public performance?
*I was 16 years old, and it was at a venue for teens here in Detroit. We played 15 songs, and I remember covering “Trash” by the New York Dolls. I was hooked on this rock ‘n’ roll thing.

What was the first record or cd you purchased with your own money?
*The first LP I bought was Highway to Hell ‘cos Angus and the boys looked so scary I knew they knew something and I wanted in on it.

What was the first live concert you attended?
*When my family was coming home from a vacation white water rafting in Virginia we accidently stumbled upon a free summer concert of The Monkees somewhere in Pittsburgh. I was around 11 or 12 years old.

Which venue would you most like to play that you haven’t yet/ and which is your favorite venue to play?
*On this tour with Tenacious D we played the Ryman in Nashville, The Gorge in George, and many beautiful ballrooms and old theaters across the U.S. I must say, I am one lucky guy.

What is the best career advice you’ve been given, and by whom?
*I remember Johnny Hentch of Detroit’s The Hentchmen telling me one time “maintain your edge, Eddie. Don’t soften up just ‘cos you’re getting older.” I liked that.

Who are you listening to now?
*At the moment, I’ve been loving Jenny Lewis’ solo stuff, the new Small Faces’ reissues, and Nina Simone.

What is your best story about life on the road?
*The cliche of “life on the road” is not what anybody really thinks it is. It’s hard work, it’s unforgiving, and it can take a lot out of you– but I wouldn’t trade that journey for anything or anyone in the world.

What recordings are available to the public and where can they be purchased?
*You can order our lp/cd directly from us here, at www.sightsarmy.com, buy it on iTunes, or get one from me at the show!

When and where are you playing next?
*We’re out this summer supporting Tenacious D, and it’s been one hell of a run. We’re hitting the south and west coast July-August, so come say hi. Playing Austin on July 19 at Austin Music Hall.
http://www.examiner.com/article/10-questions-with-eddie-baranek-of-the-sights

LOS GRILLOS  (L.A. online music magazine) – Positive album review with album art, tour dates, LOR mp3 and related links.
The Sights – LEFT OVER RIGHT

The first two tracks off the latest from Detroit’s The Sights, Left Over Right, announce an album that strikes a balance between classic power pop and heavy soul, with infectious opening title track bringing the former and advance single “Fool (I Can’t Stop Making Out With You)” rocking the latter before track three brings it all together with the bounce and grit of “Prayer”. From there the band, coming on like Badfinger with a kickin’ horn section, delivers a series of tunes that can easily be described as Beatle-esque in their mix of melody and harmony as well as studio work courtesy of producer Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Dirtbombs). Hell, there’s even one for Ringo to sing in the form of goofy, jaunty “You Are The Sunshine”. The end result is a winning, layered mix of garage, pop and soul that gets better with each listen (and sounds even better from the speakers of my car stereo than it does at home) and boasts enough studio flourishes and solid craftsmanship to have plenty of appeal to the audience that pushed the latest from The Black Keys and the recent Jack White release to the top of the charts.
Left Over Right is out now via HRM. Check it out here.
The Sights are currently on tour in support of the album (and sharing the stage with Tenacious D for a number of shows). Catch ‘em live if you can…
http://www.losgrilloscollective.com/the-sights-left-over-right

DAGGER  (online music magazine) – Positive album review with album art and related link.
The Sights – LEFT OVER RIGHT (HRM)

Detroit’s former boy wonders, The Sights are back with a new one. And all’s just a little more right with the power pop world. Well, it’s not entirely, or only, power pop – the band has a strong soul influence, with a bit of hard rock to it as well. In any case, Left Over Right is a five-man life force, it’s so full of irresistible hooks, ‘60s-inspired songwriting, and passionate rock ‘n’ roll affection. For anyone who’s familiar with Sights founder/lead singer/guitarist Eddie Baranek’s story, it’s pretty inspiring (basically, after achieving an enviable degree of success and acclaim in the early ‘00s, the band broke up, after which Baranek kind of fell apart, then pulled himself together and started over). His current co-Sights are Jarrod Champion (keyboards, vocals), Dean Tartaglia (sax/vocals), Kyle Schanta (bass), and Skip Denomme (percussion). With two songs being used for Chevy ads and a summer tour with Tenacious D, the new construction’s looking as good, or better than the older one(s). So far, my fave track’s the title one, which rivals Big Star for joyful exuberance and four-to-the-floor energy. “Mercy” is a soulful rocker. And “You are the Sunshine” is a juicy burst of honky-tonky pop that has some of the Small Faces’ mischievous verve. Doesn’t look like Baranek & Co. are likely to run out of ideas any time soon. www.sightsarmy.com MARY LEARY
http://daggerzine.com/reviews_main.html

JESTER JAY MUSIC (online music blog) – Positive album review
Recording review – The Sights, Left Over Right (2012)
A perfect storm of retro rock and soul
I first heard about Detroit retro-rockers The Sights because they’re touring with Tenacious D this summer. The blurb included a link to Fool (I Can’t Stop Making Out With You) from their new album Left Over Right. A flirt of feedback and drum stick click count started the song and I was transfixed within seconds. A haze of harmonica and sax settled in on top of the deliberate drive of the guitar and bass riff, but then the discord clarified to reveal Eddie Baranek’s vocals. His verses conjured Eric Burdon and the Animals. Then the soulful chorus broke the tension with a tidal wave of sound: horns, harp, and tight rhythmic stabs.

As much as I love the convenience of my iPod, Fool made me long for my turntable again. The volume knob crept higher with each replay. After swallowing this hook, I had to hear more.

Fool’s intro is more modern, but the bulk of the track screams 1965, in large part because of Jim Diamond’s old school production. The softened woomph of the kick drum, the roomy vocal reverb, the subtle build on the keyboard – these sonic decisions nurture both those stripped down verses and the headier choruses.

The rest of Left Over Right provides similar moments of satisfaction. The sound creeps forward to visit late ’60s/early ’70s classic rock, decorative bits of psychedelia, and even folk rock. There are so many whispered influences (The Animals, Badfinger, Bowie, The Band) that it’s not so much a tribute as a long comfortable soak in a bygone era.

Diamond’s engineering on Left Over Right is such a strong contributor that it almost deserves band-member status. Like a sculptor, he tweaks the texture to generate subtle effects and elicit the perfect mood. On Mercy’s intro, he slathers on a thick mono layer of retro, like a teenager’s cheap phonograph. This opens into a fuller, soul-tinged rocker that pushes the clock forward by about seven years:
The three sides to every truth
Are yours, mine, and the absolute
Which one are you gonna choose?
Whichever one suits your needs
The musical question is appropriate. Are The Sights retro-purists, gold diggers, or just naturally groovy? As Left Over Right time travels back and forth, the band blends in like chameleons. Still, every track sounds natural as the production, arrangement, and the writing create the appropriate mix.

The band itself seems to address the credibility question. On Anything to Anyone, The Sights offer a more modern sound, like Portugal. The Man’s psych-pop. Baranek tosses down the gauntlet:
I look at myself and wonder, what would I become?
Anything to anyone?
I could sing without pretense
Or dance in your decadence
Would you think it’s all an act?
With candor, he pushes the question back to the listener. He knows who he is and challenges his audience on their own consistency.

Without a yardstick for this longtime band, I can’t judge their classic cred. But Left Over Right is a damn good reference point and a great album.
http://jesterjaymusic.blogspot.com/2012/07/recording-review-sights-left-over-right.html

RED RED WINE ON A SUNDAY  (online music podcast) – “Not As Pretty” featured on their “Best Of 2012 – So Far” podcast.
http://redredwineonasunday.blogspot.com/2012/07/red-red-wine-on-sunday-142-when-i-fall.html

KTSW RADIO (San Marcos, TX college radio) – “Could Not Call It Love” aired on 07.05 (per MD Jessie Clemons)

WMSE / “ZERO HOUR” (Milwaukee, WI college radio) – “Not As Pretty” aired on 07.06.12. and “Could Not Call It Love” aired on 06.29. High-fives to our pal, Andy Turner!
http://zerohourradio.blogspot.com/2012/07/playlist-for-62912-live-from-summerfest.html

REAL PUNK RADIO  RED RED WINE ON A SUNDAY SHOW  (online music site/podcast show) – “Not As Pretty” spun on show #142 on July 3rd.
http://realpunkradio.com/red-red-wine-on-a-sunday-142-when-i-fall-down/

AFTER 5 DETROIT  (Detroit online A&E site) – Positive feature with band photos, Fool mp3 and related links.
The Sights
By Yuliya Harris
From Motown to rock, this city has always been the epicenter for amazing music…and the beat hasn’t slowed down yet.  With hopeful stars on the rise, we direct our attention (and ears) towards the city’s latest up and coming band, The Sights.
The blues/rock band surrounds the likes and sounds of Eddie Baranek (guitar/vocals), Jarrod Champion, Skip Denomme, Kyle Schanta, and Dean Tartaglia that came to be “when a couple of high school friends came together over a mutual love of music,” says the band. For The Sights, “the Detroit music scene was really heating up and we got caught up in all the fun.” So much fun, that it’s been ongoing for this band for the past 10 years.
In a day when studios are able to alter sounds and songs to any liking, The Sights stick to the good ole’ heart and soul of true rock and roll.  So what sounds can you expect to hear from The Sights?  According to their own bio, they “combine the unobtrusive honesty of The Band with countless slivers of influence from their own personal record collections: Ike & Tina, Solomon Burke, The Everly Brothers, Bob Seger, Tim Harden and all manner of raucous infectious songwriting.”
This year, they will celebrate their fifth record, “Left Over Right.” The record, according to the band, “is our tightest record: everything in every song is in there for a reason.” And from listening to the tunes, I can understand why this album is their best yet. My personal favorite song, “Fool” – which you can click to listen and download it for free – click here.
So on May 16th, they begin their nation-wide tour, with their first stop in St. Louis – but not before playing a farewell gig in Ypsilanti this Saturday, May 12th.   And then it’s on the road, making stops around the nation to play alongside Jack Black’s band, Tenacious D. With a three-month nation-wide tour and a new record on the horizon, the band is feeling pretty good about their immediate future.
Although the band is going to be touring the nation, they still call Detroit home and find time for a few shows in our own backyard. On June 16th you can find the band performing at the Park Bar in Detroit and we’re proud to announce The Sights as our opening act at The Fillmore on June 14th.
The city’s influence on the band resonates in their music. “Well, we’re not cutesy sunshine pop all the time. Neither is Detroit. We’ve got energy and creativity flowing through these veins and streets.” Perfectly said.
I had the chance to listen to the band at Michelle Elder’s LiveWorkDetroit event in April. Although the crowd was quite serious, once the band took the stage—we all turned into schoolgirls with front row seats to our favorite band’s concert. It only took one concert and we became quick fans, so if you are a lover of rock and roll and lively performances, check out this local band on the rise.
For the rest of their tour dates, check out their summer schedule.
http://www.after5detroit.com/play/people?id=1776

CONCERTLIVEWIRE (Chicagoland online music site) – Positive Chicago show preview with band photo in “This Week’s Picks”.
This Week’s Picks: A polished Diamond, see The Sights, Hawthorne Effect heads home, Ringo revs up
Show up early for The Sights: Technically Tenacious D is the headliner at the Aragon Ballroom on Saturday, and while its comedic brand of irreverent rock always hits the spot, be sure to show up early for local heroes Urge Overkill and openers The Sights. Those latter Motor City soul/garage/blues rockers just wrapped up the recording sessions for “Left Over Right,” which could fit just as comfortably alongside The Band, Solomon Burke or Bob Seger, packing plenty of pop sensibility at every turn. Saturday, July 7 at Aragon Ballroom: www.jamusa.com.
http://www.concertlivewire.com/dailydish.htm

BROOKLYN VEGAN (NYC online music blog) – D & Sights Show preview.
http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2012/06/tenacious_d_pla.html
…and Brief Union Hall show mention.
If you missed the Sights opening for Tenacious D, like we did, there’s always Union Hall tonight.
http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/music/to_do/

KDHX RADIO (St. Louis community Radio) – Stripped-down studio session Mon. July 23rd 11am-1pm (with Nick Acquisto)

WRAT RADIO / “The Electric Ballroom” (Lake Como, NJ Rock Radio) – Stripped-down studio session Sat June 30th at 11:00am est (with mainman Keith Roth) Will air Sun. July 8th between 1opm-midnight est.

EAST VILLAGE RADIO (NYC Internet Radio) – Studio visit with Eddie (interview and spins of some fave tunes) on Mike Newman’s “Beyond Beyond Is Beyond” show Thu. Jun. 28th at 1pm.

Listen to Beyond Beyond Is Beyond on Thursday at 12pm (Noon) ET as host Mike Newman welcomes Eddie Baranak, singer/guitarist for Detroit rockers The Sights, to the program. Baranek will be dropping by during the show’s second hour to talk about his long-running band’s new LP, Left Over Right, life touring with the lords of rock, Tenacious D and to do some guest DJing. If this doesn’t sound like a rock & roll party, we don’t know what does. Listen live here or via our free mobile app for iPhone and Android.
For now, dig on the title track from The Sights’ new album and peep their remaining summer tour dates at the bottom of the page.
http://www.eastvillageradio.com/content/content.php?id=4123

NYC EXAMINER (NYC online A&E site) – Positive show review.
Tenacious D, The Sights tear the roof off the Hammerstein. Second show tonight.
About midway through the opening set by Detroit’s The Sights you could close your eyes and just about be at the Fillmore in 1971 watching Humble Pie. In fact, if you squinted at the stage at diminutive frontman Eddie Baranek’s direction as he leaped about the stage, attacking his hollowbody Gibson, you might’ve just thought the ghost of Steve Marriott was in the house.

That’s no mean trick. Setting aside what a seminal figure in rock Marriott was, The Sights were merely the opening act. The centerpiece of the evening was the triumphant return of Tenacious D.
http://www.examiner.com/article/tenacious-d-the-sights-tear-the-roof-of-the-hammerstein-second-show-tonight

TIME OUT NEW YORK  (NYC weekly) – Brief positive Union Hall show preview.
 The Sights + The Brought Low + The Wicked Tomorrow
Time Out says
Detroit’s the Sights do a fine job of combining garagey crunch with retro-pop melodies. Their latest is Left Over Right. Support comes from greasy boogie-rock combo the Brought Low, which is something like our fair city’s answer to Foghat.
Union Hall
702 Union St, Brooklyn
http://www.timeout.com/newyork/music/the-sights-the-brought-low-the-wicked-tomorrow-union-hall-july-1-2012

CITY BEAT  (Cincinnati weekly) – Positive show preview with Sights video.

The new group DAAP Girls makes its live debut tonight, opening for solid Detroit rockers The Sights at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine.The Girls consists of members of local Rock band The Lions Rampant and NoKy Ska/Reggae crew The Newport Secret Six. Lions/DAAP Girls member Stuart MacKenzie describes the band as a “dance-oriented mix of early Stones’ guitars, Funk breakbeats, three-part harmonies and Reggae bass.” Tonight’s free show kicks off at 10 p.m.

Headliners The Sights begin touring with Tenacious D tomorrow (playing Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium) and are promoting their latest release, Left Over Right. Here’s the Garage Pop band playing the title track at a show in Ypsilanti last month.
http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/blog-3627-music_tonight_art_vs_science_beneath_oblivion_and_more.html

ATLANTA EXAMINER  (Atlanta A&E site) – Positive album review with  band photo to preview Atlanta show.
The Sights release ‘Left Over Right” and hit the road with Tenacious D

The Sights are a band out of the motor city that delivers pop heavy tunes infused with the right amount of fuzz and soul. Longtime critical darlings, their 14 year career has yielded multiple albums full of musical nuggets that scream DETROIT! Their latest album, Left Over Right, is a whole lot more of the same.
After giving their new record multiple spins it is more enjoyable with each listen. Musically they pull from a vast array of resources, just listen to “Prayer” which is loaded with smooth rhythms or the Beatlesque “Anything To Anyone”. There is “Left Over Right”, a fast paced guitar driven track that needs to be cranked up loud. They tap into 60’s pop with “Bad Man” and “Mercy” which are full of melodic harmonies and jangly guitars. Just when you think you have The Sights pegged they whip out “Easy Living” full of country twang. From start to finish the music on Left Over Right employs the soulfulness of Motown, the frantic energy of the MC5 and catchy lyrics to create a musical environment for the listener to enjoy.

With a new record comes a tour across America to bring the music to the masses and that is exactly what The Sights have set out on. They have signed on as the supporting act for Tenacious D assigned the task of riling up the fans before the “D” hit the stage to melt faces. The tour stops in Atlanta on Monday June 25th at the Tabernacle. The doors open at 8pm with The Sights hitting the stage not long after that. Check out their new record Left Over Right then see them live in Atlanta, it should be a good night of music.

WHO: The Sights & Tenacious D
WHERE: The Tabernacle
WHEN: Monday, June 25th, 8pm
http://www.examiner.com/article/the-sights-release-left-over-right-and-hit-the-road-with-tenacious-d

MIDNIGHT TO SIX  (online music blog) – Positive album review with  album art.
The Sights – Left Over Right (HRM Records)
Left Over Right is The Sights’ fifth album since they burst onto the Detroit scene in the late ’90s as teens, and their second since going on hiatus in the back half of the 2000s. Since returning to action, lead singer and only original band member left, Eddie Baranek has toned down some of the garage rock bashing that defined their raucous early years, and focused in on development as a songwriter and singer (his soulful voice compares favorably with Steve Marriot). Left Over Right is a testament to Baranek’s maturation, with he and the current five-man line-up of the band sweetening their songs with Beatles-y touches like harmonies, intricate arrangements and thickly layered instrumentation that makes the most out of Jim Diamond’s production techniques. The brilliant garage rock producer’s (White Stripes, The Ponys, The Dirtbombs…etc.) skill behind the board really allows the band go the extra mile, as he makes the studio as big a part of The Sights’ sound as anything else. Everything that the album has to offer comes together magically on lead single “Fool (I Can’t Stop Making Out With You)” which is a catchy strut of a rock song that recalls their early swagger but with horns, organs and harmonica embellishing the song into a large-scale production. Elsewhere on the album they make a good case to be this millennium’s Badfinger (minus all the death and depression) on “Bad Man” and “Anything To Anyone”, and find a way to add gospel flourishes to high-energy rock on “Not As Pretty”. The only song they fall flat on is “You Are The Sunshine”, a cloying attempt at cutesy ’60s balladry that even The Monkees might have dismissed as too fluffy. Cast that track aside and Left Over Right is the perfect album to give the person in your life who complains that they don’t make bands like they used to anymore.
http://midnighttosix.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/the-sights-left-over-right-hrm-records/

CULTURE BRATS  (online music site) – Positive album review with  album art, related links and Fool mp3.
CD Review: The Sights, Left Over Right

Today marks the release of Left Over Right, the fifth full-length album from The Sights, who are touring this summer with Tenacious D. Now a quintet, this Detroit band has been excelling in bluesy power pop since 1998 and this album is no exception. If you’re excited by the throwback soul/rock sounds that have been showing up on the radio, The Sights’ latest album may be right up your alley.

The album starts off strong, opening with the bop-worthy track “Left Over Right” and followed by the screaming guitars of “Fool,” both catchy, high energy tunes that show off their heavy ’60s rock influence but tempers the retro feel with updated power chords. After that is the track “Prayer” which displays the same energy but has a definite soul sound, reminiscent of Creedence Clearwater Revival. It is that melding that most characterizes the album in its entirety.

However, there is a fine line between showing your influences and becoming a tribute to them. The middle of the album gets a little same-same after awhile. The tracks “Bad Man” and “You Are The Sunshine,” while still displaying energy, are a little too retro and threaten to pour on more saccharine ’60s sweetness than I think modern audiences are attuned to. The songs are still fun standalone, but my gut says that infusing a tad more modernity into the pop here, or alternatively, slowing down the tempo, would spice up the album as a whole.

That criticism aside, the album then brings it on strong again with the piano-driven energy of “Not As Pretty” and the attention-grabbing “Could Not Call It Love” that couples lyricism and fuzzy drums. The album ends well with the surprisingly twangy track “Easy Living,” which is upbeat but slightly softer than previous songs.

Overall, the band has a great infectious energy and consistently strong, harmonic vocals. The addition of saxophone and organ elements both add to the ’60s sound and push the energy higher (think The Isley Brothers), but I especially love how they captured the bassy, dry sound of ’60s/’70s era drums. When I hear these songs I think the house party that started as a backyard bar-b-que and got a little rowdy (which is kind of how we all want our bar-b-ques to go, am I right?). I hope to hear these guys picked up on more radio stations – my bet would be on “Left Over Right” or “Fool” but I have a fondness for “Could Not Call It Love.” Sometimes soaring, this album is a solid offering and showcases that what The Sights do, they do very well.
http://www.culturebrats.com/2012/06/cd-review-sights-left-over-right.html

BIRMINGHAM FREE PRESS  (Birmingham online music site) – Show preview with press press release and band photo.
http://birminghammusicnews.blogspot.com/

HELLHOUND’S MUSIC (online music blog) – News post (from press release) with album art, band photo and related links.
http://hhmzine.blogspot.com/2012/06/sights-new-left-over-right-lp-out.html

CW’S PLACE (online music site) – News post with album art and related links.
http://cwsplace.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/the-sights-new-full-length-album-left-over-right-drops-on-tuesday/

WORDS, MUSIC… & SOMETIMES BASEBALL  (online music blog) – Positive album review with band photo, video, album art, related links and Fool mp3.
The Sights – Left Over Right
June 18, 2012
About ten minutes into Left Over Right by The Sights it was easy to tell this was going to be a ‘toss some burgers on the grill, put the beer and soda on ice and yell for all the neighbors to come over and have a party’ album.
The tracks are rock with a great rhythm & blues vibe running through them. My favorites are Fool,with it’s slammed by a freight train intro,
You Are The Sunshine, for its Carolina Beach Music sound that pulls everyone out on the patio to do the shag, and Mercy because sometimes I just need a cool saxophone sound with my guitars.
Left Over Right is an awesome album you will want to share. Pick up a copy, have your family or friends over and just throw a party or barbecue while it plays.
You can check out more music from the band on their website or their facebook page. You can also follow them on Twitter @TheSightsArmy.
Left Over Right releases tomorrow, June 19th and is available on CD or Vinyl from the website and as a digital download from iTunes and Amazon.- Kit
http://www.wordsmusicbaseball.com/?p=7030

CHICAGOIST  (Chicago online A&E site) – Very positive show preview for June 7th Chicago show with band photo and related links.
The Sights Blow Out Ears, Deliver Beyond Expectations
The first time The Sights were described to us the mental image we conjured was of a soul band’s heart beating in a garage band’s body, and that wasn’t far off. Their earlier albums are scrappy, turbulent affairs and the first few times we saw frontman Eddie Baranek perform we kept waiting for him to either pass out or fall of the stage.
As the years passed the band continued to put out solid albums people with a rotating case of musicians with the band remaining based in Detroit. We admit, though, that we didn’t really see the band growing so we lost touch with them over the years.
The Sights’ new album, Left Over Right, has returned our focus to the group though, filled as it is with songs that show that little soul heart has leapt out to overtake the garage rock body in a big way. These songs show the band growing into a true R&B machine, mixing southern horns into guitars that continue to roar with a Motor City ferocity. Baranek delivers his vocals with the abandon of a preacher about to slip into tongues as he channels his spirited tales to lay along the walls of organ-flecked pandemonium underneath.
The Sights have always been a great live band. And their albums always showed they were capable of delivering solid studio work. But Left Over Right show as the band has finally wrassled that live fervor and captured it down to tape to finally reveal their full potential. And a more potent result we couldn’t have asked for.
The Sights play Sunday at Double Door, giving us a chance to see these new songs in action, but download “Fool” off the album and get a taste for what to expect.
MP3: The Sights “Fool”
The Sights play on Sunday, June 17, at Double Door, 1572 N Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m., $10, 21+
http://chicagoist.com/2012/06/15/the_sights_blow_out_ears.php

ILLINOIS ENTERTAINER (Chicago music monthly magazine) – Show preview for June 7th and July 17th Chicago shows.
You wouldn’t know it from their music, but Tenacious D clearly have a thing for Cheap Trick. The openers for their Chicago set next month are Urge Overkill and The Sights, the latter of whom will give a special showcase for the forthcoming Left Over Right (HRM) this weekend. The title track borrows a little “I Want You To Want Me” bounce, while the rest of the album deftly mixes churning guitars with left-of-center, Beatlesque power-pop melody. (Sunday@Double Door with Reigning Sound.) – Steve Forstneger
http://illinoisentertainer.com/2012/06/thats-the-sway-i-like-it/

TOP 40 CHARTS (online music site) – News post (from press release) with album art and related links.
http://top40-charts.com/news/Pop-Rock/The-Sights-New-Full-Length-Album-Left-Over-Right-Drops-June-19th/79261.html

HUGHSHOWS (Pittsburgh music blog) – First/Last interview with Eddie and band photo.
First/Last-The Sights
“2012 is shaping up to be The Sights’ best year yet. They’ve already supplied the music for two Chevrolet ads, and this summer will bring a new single (“Eso No Está Bien Pequeña/Like Two Little Kids”) as well as the release of their seventh effort, Left Over Right. On it, Baranek is joined by Jarrod Champion (keyboards/vocals), Dean Tartaglia (saxophone/vocals), Kyle Schanta (bass) and Skip Denomme (drums) where they deliver not only their most soulful album to date, but do it with all of the intensity that has fueled their previous recordings and live shows for well over a decade. If you love – really love – passionate songs that fire your imagination and move your ass, then you’re gonna really love The Sights.”

I want to thank the band’s frontman, Eddie Baranek, for taking a few minutes to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
The first album I bought on vinyl was ACDC’s “Highway to Hell” because the dudes looked evil on the cover.

Your last album bought?
The last album I bought was “The Great Memphis Sound” by The Mar-Keys, the lifeblood of Stax Records.

Favorite album of all time?
Why the newest Sights’ record, of course. It’s called “Left Over Right” and you can get it from me at the show or online or order it on our website.

First concert attended?
My first concert was The Monkees on accident. I was with my family coming home from a white water rafting adventure in West Virginia and the show was near Three Rivers Stadium at some outdoor venue. I was about 11 years old.

Last concert?
The last concert was the one we did with Tenacious D. In fact, we’ll be out all summer supporting them. Great band and sweet dudes.

Favorite concert ever?
I am still in love with the one time I saw Jonathan Fire Eater in Detroit in about 1996. They eventually became The Walkmen.

Least favorite concert?
Anything with a laptop.

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I love Pittsburgh, it has such a Detroit feel to it. I remember going to Primanti Bros. after a gig and some asshole was yelling at his woman ‘cos she wanted fries on the side, not in the sandwich. How can you yell at someone for the way they eat something? Who cares?

Thanks, Eddie.
http://hughshowsredux.blogspot.com/2012/06/firstlast-sights.html

ZOIKS! ONLINE (online music blog) – News post (from press release) with tour dates.
http://www.zoiksonline.com/2012/06/sights-join-tenacious-d-for-highly.html

BEHIND THE HYPE (online music magazine) – Positive Sasquatch show review.
The Sights
Heavy rock/soul straight from Detroit. Since their  single “Rock & Roll Circus” we’ve been waiting to catch them ilive. They’re even better than we imagined! Each member had their own moment. The frontman Eddie Baranek throws his whole body into every song and the tenor sax solos killed! Apparently Tenacious D agrees, because the Sights are opening for them for the rest of the tour.
http://www.behindthehype.com/featured/sasquatch-2012-review/

FILTER (national music magazine) – Positive posting with band photo in Getting To Know recap feature.
Getting To Know: The Sights
Where They Were Then: The Sights were getting clumped into the Detroit rock sound with bands like the White Stripes and the Von Bondies…and did not like the comparisons. They were also on the verge of releasing their third album, The Sights.
Where They Are Now: After a five year full length recording hiatus, The Sights released their next full length album Most Of What Follows Is True in 2010. The trio also just announced on their website that they will be opening for Tenacious D this summer.
FILTER Said: The Sights’ self-titled third album is a kinetic mosaic of sound that pieces together British Invasion pop with classic rock and ‘60s harmonies with ‘70s guitar.
They Said: “I wanted to start a band that either sounded like the Jam, like a clean power pop thing, or like Traffic, improvise, really psychedelic—you know, the complete opposite of the Jam. And then I was like, ‘Oh fuck, why can’t I just combine these two?’ And I think that’s what I’m trying to do.”
http://filtermagazine.com/index.php/exclusives/entry/10_years_of_filter_issue_14_revisited_getting_to_know_sage_francis_stars_mo

FEARLESS RADIO (Chicago Internet Radio) – One hour unplugged session with  interview on Mon. June 18th at 2pm (cst).

MUTINY RADIO (San Francisco Internet Radio) – Studio session Friday, May 25th at 11am (pst) with Ashley Welton.

SPINNING PLATTERS (online music magazine) – Positive Oakland show review as part of their Tenacious D review.
Show Review: Tenacious D with The Sights at Fox Theater, 5/24/2012
by Stacy Scales

I spent the day prepping by listening to these deliciously fun records and got myself to the venue in plenty of time to await the opener: The Sights. It seems it could be a bit tricky to find a band that fits the bill to open for Tenacious D, but what the hell did I know? I knew one great song by the Sights, “Fool (I Can’t Stop Making Out with You)” from their current release, Left Over Right, and liked what I’d heard. When they took the stage though, I was unprepared. Throughout their set, I couldn’t shake comparisons in my head to classic rock bands, yet they have a distinctly modern feel. I made a note that said “classic rock meets 21st century” and went back to enjoying the music. The band’s full sound is thanks in part to its many musical elements, which surpass the basic drums/bass/guitar trio by adding keyboards, saxophone, tambourine, and even a sick harmonica solo from the front man. I particularly liked a song called “Mercy,” and between songs, lead singer Eddie paused to say hello, saying that they had a few more for us, “and then I think you guys know what’s going on…”
The next two songs, “Left Over Right” and the aforementioned “Fool” were enough to put this band’s album at the top of my to-buy list. My only gripe is with myself, and it’s that I couldn’t put my finger on which classic rock band(s) in particular they reminded me of. I thought briefly maybe it was a little Steve Miller Band, or The Who. Maybe it’s Iron Butterfly, or maybe that was just the organ. In the end it didn’t really matter. All I know is that I thought they were great, and well-seasoned performers. They know how to make a rowdy, antsy crowd happy, and I can only imagine that’s no small feat.
http://spinningplatters.com/2012/05/26/show-review-tenacious-d-with-the-sights-at-fox-theater-5242012/

CINCY GROOVE (Cincinnati music blog) – News post  with band photo, Fool mp3 download, related links and Cincy show preview.
http://www.cincygroove.com/?p=8591

FEARLESS RADIO (Chicago Internet Radio) – News post  with band photo, Fool mp3 download and related links.
http://www.fearlessradio.com/musicians/press-releases/5460-the-sights-hit-the-road-w-tenacious-d-for-summer-tour–new-qleft-over-rightq-lp-out-june-19th

CULTURE BRATS (online music blog) – “Fool” mp3 download and band photo featured.
http://www.culturebrats.com/2012/05/sights-fool.html

METRO TIMES (Detroit weekly) – New album and tour feature with “Fool” mp3 download, band photos and related links.
The Sights New Album, Major American Tour, Free Download and Road Diary!
May 1, 2012
By Brian Smith

Let us offer up a toast of cheap red wine to the Sights for earning the respect of thespian rock star Jack Black after some Hollywood shows the band did several years ago in which singer Eddie Baranek called it like he saw it with chords and words. (Baranek’s a proper rock ’n’ roller, ya see, which also makes him a master of self-sabotage – he even once told Rick Rubin to fuck off after a Sights Troubadour show, and nearly got his band tossed off a Robert Plant tour for numerous infractions.) Black obviously sees the giant in diminutive Baranek so he personally tapped the Detroit combo (now a quintet) for Tenacious D’s “Rize of the Fenix” U.S. tour this summer. Black said he wanted a “real rock ‘n’ roll band” to support them. Good thing we here at Metro Times – who’ve long supported the Sights – aren’t the only ones who know the worth of Baranek et al. (Look, we’ve watched and documented Baranek, from his loss of innocence to his growth into a songwriter’s writer.)
The multi-month tour, which kickstarts in St. Louis on May 16 with a handful Sights solo dates, will see the band play storied American venues including Denver’s Red Rocks, Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom and Nashville’s Ryman. Longtime Sights road man Shades will head up band’s caravan.
Tour Diary: We also couldn’t resist dispatches from said tour so we enlisted Baranek to keep an online tour diary, updated every other day, in our blog section with accompanying photos by Shades, who also happens to be a rising photo journalist.  Eyeball that in both our Music Blahg and Star Traction blogs beginning May 18.
New album: Each time the Sights make a new record we say it’s their best yet. No sense straying from tradition and getting up off our knees now ’cause their new, AutoTune-free, Jim Diamond-helmed album (their seventh!), Left Over Right, is the band’s finest moment thus far. No shit. It’s out June 19 on CD, digital and limited-edition vinyl.
Free Download: Here’s a free download of the song “Fool”  from the forthcoming full-length.
The Sights are playing two shows this weekend too. One’s a Cinco De Mayo celebration on Friday at Royal Oak’s Tequila Blue. Look for a collectable Sights 7” single whose A-side’s sung in Spanish! Saturday the band hits Detroit’s Town Pump.
http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2012/05/the-sights-new-album-major-american-tour-free-download-and-road-diary/

THE WASTER (online music site) – New album and tour post with “Fool” mp3 download, band photo, tour dates and related links.
The Sights: New Album/Summer Tour
The Sights have released a new album entitled Left Over Right, available now via HRM. The Detroit rockers are on tour this summer in support of Tenacious D! Check out the new track ‘Fool’ below…
http://thewaster.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2354:the-sights-tour-datesfree-download&catid=6:news-wire&Itemid=82

MUSIC INDUSTRY NEWS NETWORK / Mi2N (online music industry site) – News posting from press announcement with album art, “Fool” download and related links.
http://mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=154959

PRESS ROLLS IN FOR JOHNNY HICKMAN’S NEW SOLO LP “TILTING”

ATLANTA EXAMINER (Atlanta online A&E site) – Positive album review with “Another Road” video.
Johnny Hickman releases sophomore album ‘Tilting’
by Chris Martin
Known primarily as the co-founder of the band Cracker, Johnny Hickman is more than the modern day ‘Oates’ to David Lowery’s ‘Hall’. In addition to being one of the most underrated guitar players he is also a damn fine wordsmith. His musical output extends far beyond the collaborations with Lowery. His talents have been lent to various side projects, musical scores and solo albums. In 2005 he released his debut solo album Palmhenge, a guitar driven record full of catchy lyrics making it one of the better releases of the year. Since it did not fall in line with the over produced, computer manipulated bubblegum schlock radio stations are fond of shoving down people’s ear holes it flew under the radar. Thankfully he has decided to build on his solo career and offer up Tilting; a sophomore effort that showcases his songwriting and guitar playing talents.

With extensive touring and working on future Cracker material it is astonishing that he was able to find time to put together a new record of tunes. His latest collection of songs continues where Palmhenge left off with 12 more tracks pulling from rock, roots, Americana and a tinge of country. The album is full of songs touching on people, breakups and morals and even though they sometimes come across as sarcastic and bitter Hickman keeps the lyrics catchy and contrasts them with up-beat music preventing Tilting from being a dark and brooding album. A perfect example of this is “Destiny Misspent” which deals with people who haven’t always made the smartest decisions thus keeping them from living up to their potential. The jangly guitars and southern California vibe keep the tune from being depressing. Hickman’s blistering guitars are front and center on “Takin’ Me Back” about a dude who has been dumped by his lady and has no clue that she wants nothing to do with him anymore. In his world she will be taking him back, but in hers that is never going to happen. It is a nice twist on the age old break-up song. A political side surfaces on Tilting as Hickman touches on the troubles facing the world today. Utilizing sarcastic lyrics he delivers a biting commentary on the old U.S. of A. with the song “Not Enough”. With “Measure Of A Man” his lyrical abilities shine as he tackles greed and how money can remove all morals and ethics from people’s decisions. The last track on the album “Another Road” is dominated by blistering guitars and is the lone link to Cracker, it would fit nicely on any of their later releases. I will say this though, if you are looking for a Cracker album this is not it.
Johnny Hickman – Another Road
Video: Johnny Hickman – Another Road

On Tilting Johnny Hickman once again steps into the spotlight and delivers an album that highlights his reputation as a bad ass guitar player and a damn fine songwriter. He meanders in and out of multiple genres and then pulls it all together so none of the songs sound out of place. While some lead guitar players can work wonders within a collaborative environment few have been able to step out on their own and produce good music, Hickman is one of those few.
http://www.examiner.com/review/johnny-hickman-releases-sophomore-album-tilting

ROCK GUITAR DAILY (online music site) – Feature interview with photos and related links.
Tales From the Cracker Box – Hanging with Johnny Hickman
I had a chance to do some catching up with Johnny Hickman of Cracker after the band’s performance as part of the “Last Summer on Earth” tour. After giving the rest of the bill (Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler, and Big Head Todd & The Monsters) a tough act to follow with a set full of classic Cracker hits, we snuck Johnny off to the cozy confines of a local wings and beer joint for a couple hours of civilized conviviality and laughs (laughs mostly courtesy of the hilarious Joe Kroger – a pal of ours who maybe knows more about rock and roll than any of us).

I still remember picking up the first Cracker record back in 1992 at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. What sold me was one name in the liner notes – Jim Keltner. If Jim Keltner was playing on a band’s debut record, it had to be a helluva good band, and a helluva good record. In fact, it’s a great record. When I told Johnny Hickman last night that it was one of the best debut records I had ever heard, he smiled a big smile. When he told me the story of how it came to pass that The Jim Keltner had played on the record, I smiled.

“That was our producer, Don Smith’s doing,” Hickman said. “We were recording just up the road from where Little Village was making their album. Don said that Jim might be willing to play on a few songs if he dug them.”

That’s why I had bought the Cracker record – I knew that if Keltner’s name was on it, it couldn’t suck. Actually, that’s Hickman and Cracker co-founder David Lowery’s mantra – “The only real rule in music is ‘don’t suck.'” Keltner’s name is like the Rock and Roll Seal of Approval, if he’s on it, it generally doesn’t suck.

“Don took the demos and let Jim have a listen. He came back saying that Jim would play on the record, but only on the songs he chose. He chose three – and it worked out perfectly, because he picked one of my tunes, one of David’s, and one that we co-wrote. Mr. Wrong, Happy Birthday to Me, and This Is Cracker Soul.” Hickman continues, “Cracker Soul was first, and it was just me and Jim playing that long intro before the bass comes in. I kind of just took a deep breath, and he counted us in. We started playing it together – just over and over trying to find the right groove.

“All of a sudden, I just felt it come together (he brings his hands together in a swoop towards the heavens), and right then, Keltner just looks towards the control room and makes a circular motion with one hand, as in ‘role tape.’ We nailed it in one take. We recorded the entire thing together, and then we just added everyone else’s parts around what Keltner and I had recorded.”

If you have the first Cracker record, this would be a good time to throw it on, and listen to this of piece rock and roll come Bakersfield via Motown. Davey Faragher’s bass walks in like John Wayne wearing Jamerson’s bass, and it’s off to the races. Cracker Soul? You’re damned right – this song perfectly encapsulates the essence of the sound that led the band to selling tons of records and selling out tons of shows over the years. It defines Cracker soul.

“You know,” Hickman says when ex-Cracker bassist Davey Faragher is brought up, “Dave is just such a huge talent. He arranged all the background vocals, and plays bass so well. He kind of upped our game, he was the local boy from Redlands ‘made good,’ – you know he played on The Pointer Sisters’s I’m So Excited back in the early ’80s.”

This Is Cracker Soul is also a grand example of the musical marriage of punk/pop/country/soul created when Lowery and Hickman finally joined forces after years of circling around one another in local bands since they were kids.

“When we got together, I think David and I realized that there would be some give and take, a little pushing and shoving between us, creative tension – just because we both feel strongly about our own ideas. But over the years it’s worked out better than we ever would have guessed (at this point Johnny intertwines his fingers to make one large fist, and that maybe makes the point better than words).

“When we were both just in local bands, every so often, I’d walk up to David, and say, ‘Hey, did you write that?’ or he’d walk up to me and ask the same thing, and after an acknowledgement, the other guy would kind of walk away with steam coming out of his ears, knowing he had to go write something just as cool.”

It’s nice to sit and listen to Hickman speak with such reverence and respect for his bandmate of over twenty years. He waxes enthusiastically about Lowery’s amazing ability to combine his love for everything from Bakersfield country to Captain Beefheart to give birth to such perfectly unique tunes such as Kerosene Hat, or the tale of the band’s incredible, but unfortunately unheard cover of Led Zeppelin’s When The Levee Breaks. If you look for Internet references of Cracker covering this tune, you’ll find that every source you locate says that Cracker recorded and submitted the tune, Good Times, Bad Times, after their take on the aforementioned ‘Levee’ was deemed, ‘too weird.’ Turns out the Internet isn’t always right. Here’s the real story.

Johnny Hickman, “We recorded Good Times, Bad Times because there was a legal issue with When The Levee Breaks – Zeppelin was in a lawsuit with the publishing company who owned the rights to the Memphis Minnie classic (the song was originally written by Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe McCoy in 1927 after the Great Mississippi Flood killed hundreds of African-American levee workers – often referred to as ‘Katrina One’), so they couldn’t give us permission to use When The Levee Breaks. Of course, they only told us we couldn’t use it after we had already recorded it. It’s a shame we couldn’t put it out, it was such a great version – there are loads of dark and mysterious harmonica all over it, just layers of overdubs – it really sounds amazing!”

Maybe someday, when there’s a Cracker box set, this gem will see the light of day. As it is, if you’re pining for new product from the band, it appears that they are considering a new record for an early 2013 release. In the meantime, both Lowery and Hickman have released excellent solo albums since the band’s last release, Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey, in 2009. Albums which both are filled with great writing, singing, playing, and a few songs that would have fit very well on a Cracker album.

“The Palace Guards (Lowery’s 2011 solo release – http://rockguitardaily.blogspot.com/2011/02/david-lowery-palace-guards-5-stars.html) was such a great record,” Hickman agrees when I mention it, “But boy, there are a couple of tunes on there that I would have loved to sink my teeth into! Two of them in particular, I Sold The Arabs The Moon is such a great tune, but especially Baby, All Those Girls Meant Nothing To Me. Those would have made such great songs for the band, but that could be true of about any song David would write – it is a really cool record. I suppose there’s a few like that on my solo records too – numbers where the other guy hears a song, cringes, shakes his head, and wishes that one could have been saved for the band.”

Speaking of solo albums, Hickman has just released Tilting, his second solo release http://rockguitardaily.blogspot.com/2012/06/johnny-hickman-tilting-buy-it-dont.html, and his first as a label owner. I asked if there was any chance for some solo shows later in the year to support, and how he liked being a record mogul.

“We’ve been kicking around the possibility of doing some shows. It would be great to be able to do it with a band because the tunes lend themselves to a full band treatment. I’ve been talking about it with Jason (Larson, the record’s producer), and one of the questions is what role Jason would play in a band – he plays every instrument. We’ll know more later in the summer. I’ve had my hands full getting ready for this tour and getting my record out there. It’s a lot of work, but everything is going really well!”

We also spoke about the currant Cracker tour – I was surprised to not be seeing bassist Sal Maida up on stage, but thrilled to see his last minute replacement Bryan Howard doing a fantastic job. I asked Johnny how much rehearsal time they had with Bryan.

Johnny said, “Bryan’s doing great, I’m glad you noticed. No, we didn’t really get a chance to do full rehearsals at all with him. He’s pretty familiar with the material though, and he’s a fine musician – We’re all sorry that Sal couldn’t do the tour, but yeah, Bryan’s a lot of fun to play with up there.”

And who knew of Cracker’s connection with gore rockers Gwar?

Hickman explains, “We were neighbors. They lived right beside us when we lived in Richmond. There’s a part of town called Oregon Hill, and it was filled with musicians – us, Gwar, a funk band on the corner, it was crazy, but it all kind of fit together.

“Later on, some of the crazier characters became pretty inspirational, especially around the time of Kerosene Hat, when we lived in the desert and there’d be all sorts of pretty weird characters everywhere you’d look. One day David just started singing, ‘Here comes old lava lamp, here comes this, or that…here comes old Kerosene Hat’ – bingo. We called them desertbillys!”

We covered a lot of ground in those few hours over our drinks, onion rings, and cole slaw, but the funniest part of the evening came when our friend Joe had Johnny sign a Merle Haggard record. Now, you may wonder why on Earth would he have Johnny sign a Haggard album – well, here’s the story.

A few days before the show, Joe and I were out for a leisurely lunch and stroll through Dayton’s Oregon District – I had wanted to introduce Joe to some interesting characters in the district, such as Greg Bonnett – a rather large and imposing figure of a man (maybe 6 foot 7 or so), who happens to not just be one of the world’s great guys but also runs the best used book store East of the Mississippi, Bonnett’s Books (since 1939!). We were also on the hunt for some Cracker on vinyl – Joe is a memorabilia buff, and he thought a signed album cover would be a nice addition to his enormous collection. Turns out that people keep their Cracker records. After searching through the bins at Omega Records and The Record Gallery we were empty handed. As close as we came to striking gold was when we looked for a solo Hickman slab – no Hickman, but alas, we came across Merle Haggard’s 1976 release, My Love Affair with Trains (title song written by Dolly Parton – make your own jokes). Well, given that Haggard had similarly rakish good looks, and Bakersfield roots – we had found our cover.

Hickman laughed, and played right along, “Is it OK if I sign it, Hag?”

We howled, and the deed was done – Joe had his prizes for the day. He had a signed album cover, a back stage pass, an autographed Cracker concert poster (by Johnny and David Lowery), and as he put it so well, “Killer show at Fraze tonight. Even better hanging out with one of my favorite guitarists/songwriters afterwards. Tonight was certainly a highlight of this life.”

Telling Tales Out of School!
A splendid time was had by all. I even got to tell Johnny about a great new record by local boys Buffalo Killers, who share with Hickman the fine talents of Pavement PR’s Tony Bonyata – a guy who both bands and myself agree does a fantastic job for his clients.

Johnny on Bonyata, “It’s great to have someone as enthusiastic and passionate about the music as Tony on our side. He has such a rich history of knowledge and experience that it’s an honor to work with him.”

If you get a chance to see Cracker on this tour, check ’em out – they’re on fire. Buy Johnny and David’s excellent solo CDs, and keep your eyes open for a slew of new blogs from Johnny that he said were maybe heading our way – he’s a great storyteller, songwriter, guitar player, and all around good fella.

Thanks to Johnny Hickman, Cracker, Tony Bonyata and Pavement PR, Joe Kroger.
http://rockguitardaily.blogspot.com/2012/07/tales-from-cracker-box-hanging-with.html

THE RED AND THE BLACK (Athens, GA college weekly) – Feature interview with photo and related link.
Q&A with Cracker collaborator about solo career
by ADAM CARLSON
Q&A Johnny Hickman
Seven years after his first solo album, Johnny Hickman released a second one last week. “Tilting” explores his continued journey of creating music on his own. Courtesy of Brenda Yamen

Johnny Hickman is solo again.

Seven years after his last solo album, the Cracker collaborator steps out with “Tilting,” released last week.

Hickman recently spoke about the years-long gap, the process of writing with a group or alone and what it’s been like, re-introducing himself as a solo performer.

Some highlights from the conversation appear below.

On “Tilting”

Well, with the new album “Tilting,” it was recorded over the past year, in between Cracker tours and so forth and I feel pretty good since my last solo record … “Palmhenge,” which came out in 2005.

This was probably the most personal record, just directly — a good part of it might as well be pages out of my diary.

I just didn’t hold back on anything, I’m sort of at that point in life; I call it my “midlife crisis record” but it’s not a crisis really, it’s more reflective and a little pissed off, being in the middle of life and the halfway point and at both times, sort of celebrating that and fighting it at the same time.

On its sound, vs. Cracker

This record has a little bit of everything I do: it’s got a little bit of that country tune, which I’m kind of known for in Cracker, but it’s also very kind of pop, very rock.

On writing

When it started, I wanted more lyrics than I did music, so I didn’t really have a set plan for how it should sound. Obviously I’m a guitar player in Cracker, so they’re gonna want some guitar, and that’s fine, so I knew I’d put a lot of rock guitar on it.

But there’s another side of me that grew up listening to soul music and that’s become a very big part of me, too, so I wanted acoustic guitars on the album.

I‘m a big fan of Bob Dylan and John Prine and people like that.

They don’t have like an instrument — they’re singer-songwriter and I love that and that’s a big part of me, too.

I actually had a lot of lyrics first this time, which is actually kind of backwards … Whereas this time, actually, I really had a lot of stories, I had enough lyrics for the songs from the last couple of years. I just really had a lot to say.

On what he’s learned from collaboration

Well, David Lowery is one of the best songwriters of his generation, in my opinion.

He’s fantastic … And I’ve learned a lot from him over the years and the way he operates is, he creates characters in his songs and he lets the characters develop their own personalities and speak if they want to talk and a lot of my favorite songwriters do that as well — Randy Newman, Bob Dylan — I think David’s sort of in that group, later generation, but he’s not afraid to be a very complex individual or a very confused individual in a song or a very pissed-off individual or a very sharp individual or a very stupid individual.

We do that with Cracker songs a lot.
http://www.redandblack.com/variety/q-a-with-cracker-collaborator-about-solo-career/article_0c0f3b0e-cbb0-11e1-9cf8-001a4bcf6878.html

INDIE ROCK CAFE (online music site) – Tilting listed as “Best New Music Releases, Week of July 3” with “Measure of a Man” mp3.
http://www.indierockcafe.com/2012/07/best-new-music-releases-week-of-july-3-sunglasses-easter-island-teenage-bottlerocket/

CULTURE BRATS (music blog & Internet radio station) – Brief positive album review with album art and “Another Road” video.
CD Review: Johnny Hickman, “Tilting”
Posted by Chris on Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Tilting marks the second album from Johnny Hickman, Cracker’s co-founder and lead guitarist. Seven-word review: if you dig Cracker, you’ll dig Tilting.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Cracker; I’ve seen them live more often than other band. Some of my favorite tracks are when Hickman wrestles the mic away from David Lowery (most notably, “Wedding Day” from 1998’s Gentleman’s Blues). Hickman’s Cracker tunes always had a humorous, cynical edge to them. The same can be said for Tilting.

Favorite tracks: “Measure Of A Man,” “Destiny Misspent,” the cynical “Not Enough,” “Dream Along With Me,” “Another Road,” and my favorite track on the album, “Sick Cynthia Thing.”
http://www.culturebrats.com/2012/07/cd-review-johnny-hickman-tilting.html

MUSIC FOG  (online music site) – “Another Road” video featured with artist photo and positive post.
Johnny Hickman “Another Road”

Cracker founding guitarist Johnny Hickman put his sophomore solo album, Tilting, out on Tuesday, and I promise you, watching the video for  Another  Road  will indeed make you tilt. Of course, Johnny will be back in the Cracker saddle for a new album to be recorded with David Lowery et al. next year. There will be some solo dates for Johnny this summer, though they will be sandwiched in between the dates for the Barenaked Ladies’ “Last Summer on Earth” tour, featuring Cracker, Blues Traveler and Big Head Todd & The Monsters. Now that sounds like fun!˛ˇ

Before we get on with it, I just wanted to take a moment to shine a light on the Colorado and Utah forest fires. Over 10,000 people have been driven from their homes, so help if  you can. The Red Cross is accepting donations. Here is “Another Road,” a songwriting collaboration between Johnny Hickman and his longtime friend Chris LeRoy. It was filmed in Northern Colorado by Tomas Herrera. The video features Johnny with Jason Larson, who co-produced the new album. It is summertime, and the great American pastime of driving on the open road awaits! Ready? Here goes &
-Jessie Scott
http://musicfog.com/home/2012/7/7/johnny-hickman-another-road.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_content=515031&utm_campaign=Web

ADOBE & TEARDROPS  (online music blog) – Positive review with album art and related links..
Johnny Hickman — Tilting
Hey! Listen! It’s not too late to win your very own digital download of The Sparklers’ new album. And since nobody has entered the contest so far, if you comment you’ll have a 100% chance of winning!

But on to today’s review: Johnny Hickman’s masterful Tilting.
As we found with Jonathan Segel, this seems to be a good year for people who work with David Lowery and our named Jonathan. The opening song, “Measure of a Man” is clearly the song of a confident songwriter. Over the course of its four minutes and thirty seconds, what seems like a simple anthem unfolds into something much more expansive. After all, you can’t judge the measure of a man based on first impressions.

The rest of the songs here live up to the sweeping nature of the opening track: politics, romance, life on the road, character sketches, all spanning the many subgenres of Americana. Johnny Hickman knows what he’s doing, and you should buy this album so you can enjoy it.
http://adobeandteardrops.blogspot.com/2012/07/johnny-hickman-tilting.html

COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE  (Columbia, MO daily) – Positive review with photo, Johnny poll, and related links.
Veteran guitar slinger Johnny Hickman lets his songwriting speak volumes on his second solo set, “Tilting” (Campstove Records). There’s no doubt Hickman, the co-founder of alt-rock heroes Cracker, executes some impressive riffs here, but each and every part comes in service of the whole set, one that is marked by mature, tuneful songs. Hard-driving heartland rock, barroom jazz, Beatle-esque pop and bluesy overtones are all threaded into a folk-rock texture that is subdued enough to let Hickman’s appealing, gently weathered vocals and thoughtful lyrics, peppered with a sort of lived-in wit and wisdom, ring through.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2012/jul/05/untitled-g_spinningtracks070512/

REPORTER-HERALD  (Loveland, CO daily)

Cracker guitarist Johnny Hickman will introduce his solo CD ‘Tilting’ with June 24 show
By Rhema Zlaten

With the wise sass of a midlife crisis, Loveland-based musician Johnny Hickman wrote his heart out for his second solo album, “Tilting,” releasing July 3.
When he wasn’t touring with Cracker, his band of 20 years, he snuck into Loveland’s Backbone Studio to lay down a compilation of eclectic tracks over the last two years.

From politics to dreams and broken relationships, Hickman dug into nearly every corner of life and then wove those themes into an Americana-soul-Beatles-pop instrumentation.
“With the political climate lately and the unrest and people on one side or the other, the discontent of the country was the inspiration for the album,” Hickman said.

The album title “Tilting” references literary hero Don Quixote’s perceived fight with the evil giant windmills taking over his countryside.

“I can identity with Don Quixote because we get so much information in the media that you start to doubt all of it after awhile,” Hickman said. “All of it was starting to wear on me. You can’t help but feel what is going on.”
Political rage is not the only thread of the album.

“The songs on the album are about everything, but for the most part it is a very personal album,” Hickman said. “I am going through my middle years now. I am at the center of life and all it that entails. There is a midlife crisis theme going on in the album. A lot of it is light and some of it is deeper. I have passed the middle point of life and now I am wondering where I go next. It is a lot different than writing a song when I was 25. There is a lot more to draw from … getting married and having kids, having people I love die. It is a very honest.”
Producer and musician Jason Larson helped shape the sound of the album. Their creative mish-mash of ideas drove the feel of each song.

“I helped musically write some parts and I arranged here and there,” Larson said. “I also produced the vocals, basically just making it the best it can be. I also mixed it and mastered it from the ground floor up.”

As far as what audiences will take away from the new album, Larson considers himself a musical purist.

“I think there is a little something for everyone on this record,” Larson said. “There are a couple of political songs, but the whole record is not like that. It is eclectic and there is some rocking stuff and some mellow stuff. I think that is a good quest. You do what you do and then let everyone else decide what they will think of it. When it is done, you just want to let it go.”

To launch the new project, Hickman and Larson will play a live show at Avogadro’s Number in Fort Collins at 7-10 p.m. Sunday, June 24. Larson’s band The Piggies will open, followed by Larson accompanying Hickman for a few songs and then the bands combining to bring the new album songs to life. “Tilting” will be available for purchase at the show.

Hickman will also be touring with “The Last Summer on Earth” tour for the 2012 summer season, featuring the Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler, Denver-based Big Head Todd and the Monsters and, of course, Cracker.

GO & DO
Johnny Hickman CD Launch
When: 7-10 p.m. Sunday, June 24.
Where: Avogadro’s Number, 605 S. Mason, Fort Collins.
Tickets: $10.
Info: Visit avogadros.com.
http://www.reporterherald.com/loveland-music/ci_20894758/cracker-guitarist-johnny-hickman-will-introduce-his-solo

COLORODOAN  (Fort Collins daily) – Feature interview to preview local show.
Top picks: Johnny Hickman
Sunday, June 24
Cracker guitarist Johnny Hickman’s long-awaited second solo album, “Tilting,” is finally out — almost (official release date is July 3). Attend the CD pre-release party Sunday at Avogadro’s Number to hear what you’ve been missing. Hickman will be joined by special guests John Magnie, The Piggies and members of Mama Lenny and the Remedy.
Johnny Hickman CD pre-release party, 7 p.m. Sunday, Avogadro’s Number, 605 S. Mason St., Fort Collins. Tickets are $10. Information: (970) 493-5555 or www.avogadros.com
http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20120621/ENTERTAINMENT/306210007/1040/ENTERTAINMENT

MARQUEE MAGAZINE (Fort Collins, CO monthly) – Positive album review with album art.
Johnny Hickman – Tilting
Campstove Records
3.5 out of 5 stars
Johnny Hickman and his fellow Cracker co-frontman David Lowery have had one simple rule in place since they started playing music together — don’t suck.
In the two decades since Cracker’s self-titled debut release, the group has earned multiple gold records and toured worldwide.
Hickman, who in recent years has made Fort Collins his home, will release his second solo album on July 3, but will host a CD release party in late June, before he again hits the road with Cracker for a massive tour.
Tilting certainly has some Cracker overtones to it — Hickman’s brand on that band is too hard to escape. But much of this album shows Hickman stretching his musical boundaries by exploring Dust Bowl-era jazz (“Papa Johnny’s Arms”) and more modern rock flavors (“Takin’ Me Back” and “Another Road”). In a press release about the album, Hickman said that he didn’t plan on writing material that was this personal, but admitted that the album was quite autobiographical, and “honest as hell.”
Hickman also credits producer Jason Larson of Backbone Studios with significantly shaping the album. He said that the two took turns behind the board, shifting back and forth between musician and producer, and that while it was an unorthodox way to make an album, the experience was a blast.  — BFJ
http://marqueemag.com/2012/06/01/johnny-hickman/

ROCK GUITAR DAILY (online music site) – Positive album review with album art, photos and related links.
Johnny Hickman – Tilting – Buy It, Don’t Steal It!
“I love writing songs in all capacities….throwing Lowery riffs that he builds a song around or writes words to my melodies, writing entire Cracker or solo songs on my own, all good. It’s a little frustrating sometimes because understandably, people first regard me as just the lead guitarist when in truth I co-wrote the bulk of the Cracker canon with David Lowery, including every radio hit. Keith Richard, Mike Campbell, Joe Perry….we all get pigeonholed that way. Goes with the guitar-slinger territory.” Johnny Hickman on being not ‘just’ a lead guitarist.

Tilting is Johnny Hickman’s second solo sojourn, a trip that sees the veteran songsmith/guitarist/singer weaving in and out of a wide variety of styles without ever forgetting where his roots lie. Recorded in Colorado with producer/engineer/multi-instrumentalist Jason Larson, the record is most definitely a modern affair – largely funded by friends, family, and fans via a very successful Kickstarter campaign, only to be instantly pirated by wretched download sites who somehow managed to get their hands on a promo copy. It is the best of times, it is the worst of times, it appears.

If you find yourself thinking that this disc harkens back to the genre jumping employed so successfully by the mid-period Beatles, you’re not mistaken. Mind you, there’s more than enough Cracker soul to keep his core constituency smiling (such as the album’s excellent opening track, Measure of a Man), but there’s also a smoky, sophisticated trip to French bistro music on the ‘keep the home fires burning’ Papa Johnny’s Arms, which features a beautiful jazzy chord progression, a lovely Django-esque guitar solo, and some clever and warm wordplay.

Dream Along With Me is a piano based mid-tempo burst of ’70s melodicism that evokes fond memories of Eric Carmen, The Raspberries, and even Paul’s Wings – not what one might expect, but a delightful surprise, especially the angelic background vocals, and a guitar solo that surely has the mystic George smiling from above. Then there’s a slab of pop entitled Sick Cynthia Thing that sits comfortably somewhere between Elvis Costello, Guided By Voices, and The Sweet. We’re talking seriously eclectic stuff here, but it works in a way that only a seriously skilled writer could pull off. Someone who’s listened to as many great records as he’s made.

“I sometimes feel like the impassioned madman with his lance trying to slay the windmill monsters,” Johnny reveals. “I think a lot of people do in these troubled times. The idea of battling these mighty, unbeatable foes both real and imagined is disturbing yet darkly amusing to me.”

He continues, “The songs on Tilting are definitely more personal, more autobiographical than on either Palmhenge or Cracker records. I didn’t set out to do that but it’s just where I am in life I suppose. I didn’t steer cautiously around any of my feelings or experiences, good or bad. It’s as honest as hell, I can tell you that. Lyrically, there’s a little mid-life crisis catharsis going on here, not that that’s a bad thing. That and just being pissed off and reveling in it. I also love collaborating, which I do with David as well as my long time friend Chris LeRoy. Two of the twelve songs on Tilting were written by or with Chris, though the majority of these songs are directly from my head and heart.”

Not Enough is a pissed off picture of what this country is going through, but even as he’s taking those who see no problem in the way our nation is behaving to task, Hickman makes it sound like we’ll be just fine. His witty lyrics never pander to the those who would give up without a fight, or to those who would call for in the streets revolution. No, there’s a sense of staying the course and being a man, taking it as it comes and making it all work out. Maybe even more than the tasty melodicisms and the cooler than cool arrangements, what I like about this record is that like The Who, The Kinks, and The Beatles, this guy is not gonna quit, and he’s never going to whine. Stick with him, watch what he does, follow hid lead, and you’ll be fine, too.

Hickman’s voice is exceptionally strong throughout the album, whether it’s standing nakedly by itself on the barroom lament, Drunkard’s Epiphany, or shouting over the power pop/punk of Takin’ Me Back. Of the great ’90s rock and roll sergeant-at-arms (Mike Campbell, Peter Buck, and Doug Gillard come to mind), Hickman is the first to stand tall and produce a solo album strong enough to stand alongside his day job’s finest. Any song on this disc would sit proudly smack dab in the middle of a Cracker album, the same thing that I said about David Lowery’s outstanding 2011 solo outing, The Palace Guards.

World weariness occasionally appears, as it will when the times sees one losing friends to the psychic wars, and the ravages of an industry that left town. Whittled Down is a tale of the rigors of the road, but I’m also hearing the somber souls of Vic Chesnutt and Mark Linkous looking down on Lonesome Johnny from some celestial tavern. This is a new form of the working class hero – he’s the guy left behind to pick up the pieces and keep on moving. Hickman honors his friends living and dead, his bandmates, and his family with his deep vein of dignity and integrity. His is the job of the living and the leaders – the survivors. And he’s doing a damned fine job.

I had the pleasure of hanging out and talking with author Joe Klein (Primary Colors) and legendary guitarist Ry Cooder the other night – we talked of music, politics, and the state of the nation. Ry seemed a little pissed, and somewhat concerned that I had already heard the whole of his new record, which is still months from its release date (I assured him I had heard it through legitimate means). Klein listened intently as the working class of Dayton. Ohio told him their take on America. As I listen to this record that Johnny Hickman has just made, read the impassioned words of Hickman’s partner in Cracker David Lowery as he attempts to steer the music industry and its customers into sensible waters, and recall the conversations with Klein and Cooder, my level of anxiety and angst about this old world finds itself easing down a bit. It’s artists like these who remind us of not just who they are, but who we are – and in a damned fine, entertaining fashion. It tenders and engenders hope, and it gives strength.

Another Road brings the album to a finish, and it does so in the finest of fashions. Its staccato, tremolo’d guitar intro reminds me that rock is the voice of reason – one of power, redemption, and salvation. It reminds me of The Who at the height of their powers, when Townshend’s anger unleashed itself in the only way that makes sense – with loud rock and roll guitars, and a song that makes one wish to move forward, and upward.

Tilting is a damned fine record. There are many other great songs and moments on this platter that I haven’t mentioned, but I will allow you to discover them for yourselves. Hickman has set the bar high and hurdled above and beyond it. Now, you can do me a favor. Buy this album – don’t steal it. Pay the artist, for without the artist, nobody else gets paid, in fact, nobody else in the music business has a job without the artist. And go out and see Cracker this summer as they tour America with Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveller, and Big Head Todd and The Monsters, as part of The Last Summer On Earth 2012 Tour.

Finally, I’ll leave you with Hickman’s words of wisdom:

“Personally, all my favorite records and bands have been those that don’t flatline into one tiny sub-genre (Beatles, Kinks, Radiohead, Petty, Neil Young…). When I write, I just do it and don’t worry about it. As David [Lowery] and I always say, the only real rule in music is ‘don’t suck.’”

Tilting release date – July 3, 2012
http://johnnyhickman.com
http://www.crackersoul.com/fr_home.cfm
http://rockguitardaily.blogspot.com/2012/06/johnny-hickman-tilting-buy-it-dont.html

THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN COLLEGIAN (college paper) – Fort Collins show preview with Tilting art and Low video
Local artist to release solo album
By John Sheesley
Johnny Hickman, a co-founder of the band Cracker and a Loveland, Colorado resident, will be releasing a solo album on July 3. The album, entitled “Tilting” will be his first since Cracker released their debut album 20 years ago. There will be a special album release show at Avogadro’s Number in Fort Collins on June 24 at 7 p.m. costing $10. A free downloadof the first song from the album, Measure of a Man, is available on Hickman’s website.
http://marqueemag.com/2012/06/01/johnny-hickman/

DAILY BULLETIN (Inland ValleyI daily) – Mention of album release included in Cracker feature/show preview (with Johnny interview)
http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_20808244/cracker-comes-home-play-redlands-brew-bash

THE SUN (San Bernardino and Inland Valley, CA daily) – Mention of album release included in Cracker feature/show preview (with Johnny interview)
http://www.sbsun.com/redlands/ci_20799080/hangar-24s-anniversary-brings-band-cracker-back-redlands

HEART OF ROCK & ROLL (Spain-based music blog) –  Positive review in Spanish with album art and related link.
LOOSE TRANSLATION:
JOHNNY HICKMAN / TILTING (2012)
One of my favorite axes. An all-class, finesse, elegance, touch and passion. See on stage is the master receive accelerated classes “Learn to hour and a half so you have to do to be a guitar player first.” His work alongside his friend David Lowery in Cracker is well known. Quality above all. He edited his first feature in 2005, Palmhenge, an album-oriented rock roots which received excellent reviews. In the latter seems more extensive covering sounds ranging from classic rock to pop songs in the style of his beloved Beatles or Kinks. Available from July 3. More info and some listener on its website.
http://corazonderockroll.blogspot.com/2012/06/johnny-hickman-tilting-2012.html

JAMBANDS (online music site) – News on album release featured along with Campout East news.
http://www.jambands.com/news/2012/05/02/cracker-will-campout-east-johnny-hickman-to-release-solo-album

DAILY BULLETIN (Inland Valley, CA daily) – Brief Redlands show preview with mention of Johnny’s new record.
Cracker performs hometown gig at Hangar 24 party
Meanwhile, rock band Cracker will perform at 4:30 p.m. June 9 at Hangar 24 Craft Brewery in Redlands.
Band co-founders David Lowery and Johnny Hickman grew up in Redlands.
The group is known for early 1990s hits like “Low” and “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now).”
Their most recent album was 2009’s “Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey.” Additionally, Hickman will have a second solo album titled “Tilting” coming out on July 3.
The performance is part of Hangar 24’s 4th Anniversary Party. The brewery is at 1710 Sessums Drive, Redlands.
For more information, call 909-389-1400.
http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_20664342/rock-bells-sets-its-hip-hop-lineup

KRFC RADIO / ROUTES & BRANCHES (Fort Collins, CO American Radio) – “Measure of a Man” aired on June 9th, May 1st and May 5th.
http://routesandbranches.blogspot.com/

REAL PUNK RADIO / “RED RED WINE ON A SUNDAY” (Internet radio) – “Measure of a Man” aired on their “Red Red Wine On A Sunday” show on Sun. May 6th.
http://realpunkradio.com/red-red-wine-on-a-sunday-137-skipping-school/

FARONHEIT (Chicago-based music blog) – “Measure of a Man” featured on their “Pick Your Poison” weekly download feature on April 30th.

DOOR COUNTY ADVOCATE (Door County, WI daily) – Mention of album release included in  featured in Cracker Door County feature/show preview.
http://www.doorcountyadvocate.com/article/20120502/ADV05/205020646/Still-alt-after-all-these-years?odyssey=nav|head

HELLHOUND MUSIC (online music site) – News posting with album art, Johnny photo, “Measure of a Man” download and related link.
http://hhmzine.blogspot.com/2012/05/cracker-co-founder-johnny-hickman-to.html

SKOPE MAGAZINE (online music site) – News posting with “Measure of a Man” download link.
http://skopemag.com/2012/04/30/johnny-hickman-to-release-long-awaited-sophomore-solo-album

WHEN YOU MOTOR AWAY (online music blog) – News posting with album art, Johnny photo, “Measure of a Man” download and related link.
http://whenyoumotoraway.blogspot.com/2012/04/new-track-free-download-from-johnny.html

CW’S PLACE (online music site) – “Measure of a Man” audio stream and related link.
http://cwsplace.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/new-track-from-cracker-co-founder-johnny-hickman-measure-of-a-man/

INNOCENT WORDS (online music site) – News posting from press announcement with album art, “Measure of a Man” download and related link.
http://www.innocentwords.com/tabId/807/itemId/3924/Cracker-CoFounder-Johnny-Hickman-To-Release-Sopho.aspx

LARGEHEARTED BOY (popular online music blog) -“Measure of a Man” included on their “Daily Downloads” feature:
http://www.largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2012/04/daily_downloads_2999.html

T.O. SNOBS MUSIC (Toronto music site) – News posting with album art, “Measure of a Man” download and related links.
http://www.snobsmusic.net/2012/04/crackers-johnny-hickman-to-release-solo.html#more

ANTIMUSIC (online music site) – News posting from press announcement with  “Measure of a Man” download and related link.
http://www.antimusic.com/news/12/April/27Crackers_Johnny_Hickman_Sets_Solo_Release.shtml

MUSIC INDUSTRY NEWS NETWORK (online music industry site) – News posting from press announcement with album art, “Measure of a Man” download and related links.
http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=153540

CULTURE BRATS (music blog & Internet radio station) –  “Measure of a Man” featured as their Song of the Day on 04/27.
http://www.culturebrats.com

BUFFALO KILLERS’ NEW TRACK “GET IT” FEATURED IN MAGNET’S “MP3 AT 3PM”!

Buffalo Killers sound just as American as their name. Brothers Zachary and Andrew Gabbard, plus Joseph Sebaali, bring the full-force blues rock. “Get It,” off Dig. Sow. Love. Grow. (out August 7 via Alive Naturalsound), is gritty, loud and will no doubt beg the comparison to a handful of contemporary blues-rock bands like former tourmates the Black Keys and the North Mississippi Allstars.

Download “Get It” from Magnet’s MP3 AT 3PM here:

http://www.magnetmagazine.com/2012/07/17/mp3-at-3pm-buffalo-killers-2/

MEDIA FREAKOUT FOR RADIO MOSCOW!

Radio Moscow have been tearing up the road as part of their national tour in support of their recent album “The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz” and media from coast to coast have been super supportive with feature stories, interviews, show previews and album reviews. Here’s some of that love….

STYLE WEEKLY (Richmond, VA weekly) – Positive show preview with band photo
Radio Moscow at Strange Matter
Wednesday, July 18
by Andrew Cothern
Psychedelic ’70s rock gets a modern twist from Radio Moscow, a throwback group with influences from bands such as Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Jeff Beck Group. The band taps into the trippy, bluesy rock that resonates with fans of the genre, grabbing the attention of the Black Keys, whose guitarist produced the group’s debut album. On tour in support of its most recent effort, “The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz,” Radio Moscow performs at Strange Matter on Wednesday, July 18, at 9 p.m. $8-$10. 447-4763.
http://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/radio-moscow-at-strange-matter/Content?oid=1734909

THE ONION / AV CLUB (Toronto weekly) – Positive show preview with band photo
Radio Moscow
Also Playing: Biblical and Littlefoot Longfoot
Psychedelic rock, blues, and heavy metal have been crossbreeding for decades, inspiring Led Zeppelin, Hawkwind, and Blue Öyster Cult in the ’70s, up through modern acts like The Black Keys and Iowa’s Radio Moscow. Guitarist Parker Griggs’ fast-fingered fretwork fuels the trio’s smoky, Hendrixian fire, which attracted the attention of the Keys’ Dan Auerbach while Griggs was still a teenager and led to Auerbach producing the group’s 2007 self-titled debut. 2009’s Brain Cycles is cohesive, sludgy, and powerfully driven, practically standing up and shouting to snare the listener’s attention. The group’s latest, 2011’s The Great Escape Of Leslie Magnafuzz, finds the band as loose and chaotic as ever, producing a relentless assault of fuzzy guitars and hard riffs.
The Comfort Zone
480 Spadina Ave.
416-763-9139
Thu Jul 12 8:30 pm
$8
http://www.avclub.com/toronto/events/radio-moscow-biblical-and-littlefoot-longfoot,306913/

THE AQUARIAN WEEKLY (NY & NJ weekly) – Positive  show preview with band photo.
Radio Moscow: Traveling Transmission
—by Jonny Cohn, July 10, 2012
The Great Escape Of Leslie Magnafuzz left fans foaming at the mouth for a chance to see Radio Moscow perform live. Following a slew of American dates with Swedish retro groovers Graveyard this past winter after guitarist/vocalist Parker Griggs jettisoned his rhythm section, the Iowa blues jammers will be hitting up a new run of shows with Nashville’s The Dirty Streets in support. They’ll be at The Studio At Webster Hall in Manhattan on July 15 and The Brighton Bar in Long Branch July 16.
http://www.theaquarian.com/2012/07/10/radio-moscow-traveling-transmission/

THE OBELISK (online music site) – Positive show review with band photos.

Live Review: Radio Moscow and The Dirty Streets in Jersey, 07.16.12
Generally speaking, there are two kinds of shows at Long Branch’s Brighton Bar: Late shows and really late shows. The club has for a long time now famously supported its local scene, and that’s great, but that means loaded bills and late nights almost without exception. If you’re going to the Brighton — once the home of New Jersey’s stoner rock scene and a place where acts like Monster Magnet, Core, The Atomic Bitchwax, Godspeed, Solace, Solarized and many others cut their teeth— you can safely bet you’re in for a long evening.
So it was on Monday when I headed down the Parkway to get there at around 9PM and found that only one of the five bands to play had been on. Radio Moscow were headlining, so they’d be on last, and Nashville upstarts The Dirty Streets would play before them, but locals were frontloaded as ever. I missed Buzzard Wagon — who I actually would’ve been interested in seeing — but got there as Iron Front were just getting started and watched their set along with The Loose Roosters, who followed in neo-grunge fashion and were a guitar/drum duo joined by two guest bassists. They sounded like Nirvana more than a little and weren’t who I was there to see, but it could’ve been worse.
One thing about the Brighton, though, is that it’s hot. And Jersey has not been exempted from the “definitely not climate-change-driven” surge in temperatures that has the rest of the country sweating off its collective balls. I knew that going into the show, though, and by the time The Dirty Streets went on, things were somewhat less dire. I’ll admit it’s been a bit since I listened to their 2011 album, Movements (review here), but as they played, the songs came right back, the catchy hooks and Blue Cheer vibing of “Cloud of Strange” from guitarist/vocalist Justin Toland serving as an instant refresher of their own infectiousness.
Along for the tour apparently and adding a striking visual element, Mad Alchemy‘s Lance Gordon stood on stage and spilled oils and projected swirls onto a white sheet behind both touring acts. Gordon (who was with Radio Moscow earlier this year as well when they toured with Graveyard) worked on one projector for The Dirty Streets and two for Radio Moscow, and underscored the psych elements in both bands with oranges, reds, greens, purples and so on. As The Dirty Streets‘ set progressed, I was taking pictures as local artist Penelope Fox, whom I’ve never actually met, handed me a small piece of paper with a Sharpie portrait on it, of me, that you can see above.
Flattering as the ego boost of even the momentary fascination of a young lady is for an oaf such as me, I bowed to thank Ms. Fox for her work and went back to watching and shooting the band, who seemed to have a couple new songs in their set in addition to the material from Movements. Nonetheless, it was tracks like “Fight You,” “It’s About Time” and “Broke as a Man Can Be” that especially gave me a new appreciation for bassist Thomas Storz, who, though he barely faced front at all — to do so would’ve required turning away from his locked-in position in the rhythm section with drummer Andrew Denham — offered warmth of tone and complexity of play in kind. Relistening to Movements afterward, I was reminded of how much I enjoyed his performance on the record in the first place.
They closed out with their most memorable chorus to date in “What Do You Know,” which had me singing along — rare these days — by the end, and seemed overall like they’re still developing as a live act, but were already in a position where any number of American purveyors (i.e. labels) would be lucky to have them. Similar to Radio Moscow, The Dirty Streets could also be one of those heavy rock bands that crosses over into indie appeal, and doubtless tours like this one would be just how they did it. Most of all, it’ll be exciting to hear how their next record builds on the strengths they so naturally conveyed from the stage at the Brighton Bar.
Was it really 11:30PM when Radio Moscow went on? It felt later, but that’s the magic of a Monday show, or part of it, anyhow. Just three days after being Mr. Ultra Responsible and skipping out on a Friday night show before seeing a band I wanted to see (in this case, The Giraffes on their home turf in Brooklyn) because I had to work the next day, I decided to do the exact opposite and take my dose of rock and roll exhaustion with a smile. As soon as they started, I knew there was no way I wasn’t going to be watching Radio Moscow‘s set the whole way through.
Much was made earlier this year of the unceremonious and violent manner in which Radio Moscow‘s previous lineup imploded (the former members of the Iowa trio have since reemerged in Blues Pills), but guitarist/vocalist Parker Griggs has assembled a rhythm  section around him now that’s second to none I’ve ever seen in a power trio format — and yes, I mean that. I don’t know if it was the fact that Radio Moscow was already decently known when they fell apart or what, but it’s no wonder Griggs is grinning so wide in the band’s press shot: bassist Billy Ellsworth and drummer Lonnie Blanton answered back every bit of his frenetic musicality, resulting in classic fire-under-the-ass whiteboy blues
ams thaif you could divorce the speed/death metal connotations from the word, you’d almost have to call “extreme.”
Apparently someone broke into their van outside Webster Hall in NYC the night before — so if you see them on this tour, which is ongoing, bring them some pants — but neither that nor the fact that they went on later than they otherwise might have seemed to dampen their spirits. The room took on the sharp smell of Gordon‘s various oils as Radio Moscow tore into their catalog with ferocity gloriously inappropriate for a Monday night, Blanton running circles around a stripped-down kit and hitting ghost notes on the snare while somehow also making each one of them count and Ellsworth bolstering Griggs‘ own fleetness of finger with no shortage of his own. Two inebriated bona fide classic rockers up front were much pleased, as was everyone else in the room with a soul.
I don’t know if you can really say Radio Moscow is still out supporting 2011′s The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz (the CD of which continues to elude me; I’ll grab it one of these days but didn’t have the cash at the show) since it’s a totally different band now and their latest release is actually the previously-unissued 3 & 3 Quarters which was recorded in 2003 and has Griggs alone on it, but cuts therefrom like “Speed Freak” and the late-arriving “Densaflorativa,” on which Ellsworth joined Blanton‘s percussion by hitting a bongo with maracas, were notably potent.  Finishing with the John Lee Hooker-esque 12-bar “Deep Blue Sea” from their 2007′s self-titled debut, Griggs — situated closest to the Brighton‘s stage right wind machine and so absorbing the brunt of it for the duration — leading an extended jam that proved the prior hour of raging had not at all diminished his capacity for blinding lead work.
What it might take to do that, I don’t know, but when they were finished, Griggs looked ready for a second set.
The band started to load their gear off the stage, Ellsworth as collected in his presence as he had been the whole time on stage apart from that maraca jam as he and Blanton signed vinyl albums they didn’t play on. To that end, let me say I hope current Radio Moscow gets to put out an album in this form. Griggs, who’s handled drums on every release to this point and is clearly in his right as leader of the band to make decisions in this regard, has a tough choice ahead of him for their next collection as regards whether to do it himself or have Blanton take on the role in the studio. I guess that’s a while out, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens there.
Ultimately, that’s why I went to this show. I could very easily have gone to Sunday night at Webster Hall instead and had both an earlier evening and probably a shorter drive, but when it came down to it — aside from wanting to support even the basic idea of a decent show happening in my beloved Garden State — I was there for the music. I wanted to see the bands, to really watch what they were doing, how they interacted and how it sounded in a smaller space than even the downstairs room at the New York venue would’ve provided. When Radio Moscow were done, I was one of maybe 25 people in the place. I don’t care what gig you were at, that’s a special memory for me even if the bands hadn’t been so killer.
So while it wasn’t the most practical start to this week, which has thus far taken the hit of my irresponsibility and will no doubt continue to do so until Saturday when I can, barring disaster, catch up on sleep before returning to the Brighton to see Halfway to Gone, I have no regrets. I got back to my humble river valley at around 2:15AM and was asleep a little after three, the grumpy Tuesday that followed a small price to pay for the night preceding.
http://theobelisk.net/obelisk/2012/07/18/radio-moscow-the-dirty-streets-live-review/

SHE DOES THE CITY (Toronto music blog) – Positive show preview.
Toronto Hit List:
Thursday
10 pm Radio Moscow @ Silver Dollar’s Comfort Zone, 480 Spadina Ave. Psychedelic rockers Radio Moscow of Iowa play the Silver Dollar Room in support of their third full-length album, The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz – an album Rolling Stone proclaimed is “fifty minutes of psyche-rock fireworks…like spending an evening with Jimi Hendrix, Cream, ZZ Top, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy and The Black Keys.” Joining them is Memphis-based band Dirty Streets, whose own mix of proto-punk, soul roots, and late 60’s psych-rock. $9 at the door.
http://www.shedoesthecity.com/toronto_hit_list_art_battle_dance_party_neighbourhood_watch_nail_art_by_artists%C2%A0goin_steady_7_year_i

UPPER WET SIDE (West NJ A&E site) – Positive show preview with band photo
MONDAY! Radio Moscow at The Brighton Bar. Score another one for the Home of Original Music on the Jersey Shore — and on a Monday yet; that night of off-peak rates and the occasional surprise booking. Tonight, the psych-infused garage stomp of Iowa’s Radio Moscow — an internationally touring trio with a Mad Alchemy light show — squeeze the Brighton into their itinerary between big-city gigs in NYC and Baltimore. The headliners hit the famous Brighton stage at 11, preceded by The Dirty Secrets (8pm), Buzzard Wagon (8:45), Iron Front (9:30) and The Loose Roosters (10:15). Brighton Bar, 121 Brighton Ave., Long Branch • 8pm/ $7
http://upperwetside.wordpress.com/tag/radio-moscow/

ONE WAY RICHMOND (Richmond, VA music site) – Brief show preview in their “Show Picks” column
7/18 Radio Moscow, The Dirty Streets, Caves Caverns, Boney Loner & the Sacred Teachers (pictured right) @ Strange Matter 10pm. 18+
– To the Radio Moscow dudes…No band in-fighting on stage tonight fellas…Thanks…
http://www.onewayrichmond.com/2012/07/hiding-henchman-that-left-over-steep.html

FLAGPOLE (Athens weekly) – Very brief show preview
Radio Moscow, DIrty Streets, Utah, Royal Thunder
RADIO MOSCOW California trio plays “super-heavy, lysergic-laced rock.” For fans of Blue Cheer, Black Keys and Cream.
DIRTY STREETS Memphis group plays a blend of proto-punk and late ’60s psych-rock.
UTAH Explosively loud metal and hardcore duo.
ROYAL THUNDER Rifftastic rock band from Atlanta.
•    When: Monday, July 23, 9 p.m.
•    Where: Caledonia Lounge, Athens
•    Cost: $5 – $7
•    Age limit: 18+
•    Categories: Live Music
http://flagpole.com/events/2012/jul/23/2793/

BALTIMORE CITY PAGES (Baltimore weekly) – Brief positive  show preview.
The Short List
TUESDAY: Don’t miss: Iowa psych rockers Radio Moscow are at the Golden West with The Dirty Streets and Drunk Monk.
http://citypaper.com/music/the-short-list-1.1341440

HUGH SHOWS (Pittsburgh online music blog) – Feature interview with Parker to preview Pittsburgh show.
First/Last-Radio Moscow
Radio Moscow
31st Street Pub
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Strip District

“Radio Moscow came about a few years back in a Story City, Iowa basement. The First version of Radio Moscow began as a solo project by Parker called Garbage Composal. At this time the sound was very raunchy mid-sixties-ish garage rock heavily influenced by the hidden gems and bands on the nuggets comps, yet still sounding very much its own. Parker recorded one albums worth of the Garbage Composal Demos under the new name Radio Moscow.”

The band hits Pittsburgh next Tuesday at the Pub sharing the bill with Memphis’ Dirty Streets. My thanks to frontman Parker Griggs for participating in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Silverchair’s “Frogstomp” when I was around 10 probably. I was really into the blossoming grunge/alternative scene as a young kid.

Your last album bought?
I just bought a ton of rad LP’s at an antique store in Fargo, ND. I got Dust, “Hard Attack”, The Scorpions, “Lonesome Crow, Poe, “Up Through The Spiral”, Indian Summer, “Indian Summer”, Muddy Waters, “Electric Mud, The Third World, “The American Dream”, Shadows of Knight, ”Back Door Men” and “Shadows of Knight” from 1969, Fat, “Fat”, The Uniques, “Playtime”, Freedom,”Through The Years”, Giant Crab, “Cool It….Helios”, Eden’s Children, “Sure Looks Real”….and a bunch more. I found a goldmine.

Favorite album of all time?
That’s a tough question.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Hmmmm…I was a really big fan of The Seeds and then was very disappointed by their “A Spoonful of Seedy Blues” album. Also Blue Cheers’ 3rd album was quite disappointing after “Outside Inside”.

First concert attended?
First show was Jefferson Starship with my dad. Second show was The Smashing Pumpkins.

Last concert?
I went and saw Sleepy Sun in Chicago before we left for tour.

Favorite concert ever?
Hmmmmmm…I really enjoyed playing and being at the Roadburn Fest in Holland. Touring with Graveyard was also awesome.

Least favorite concert?
I don’t know…if I’m not liking it I usually leave.

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
This is our first time in Pittsburgh! I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s all about.

Thanks, Parker. If there ever was a perfect combination of venue and music, it’s yours and the Pub!
http://hughshowsredux.blogspot.com/2012/07/firstlast-radio-moscow.html

WHATZUP (Fort Wayne, IN weekly) – Positive Critic’s Picks show review with photo.

CEDAR RAPIDS EXAMINER (Cedar Rapids, IA weekly) – Positive Gabe’s show review with photos.
Radio Moscow Rocks the Heartland
Radio Moscow is Parker Griggs, (Vocals/Guitar) Lonnie Blanton (Drums) and Billy Ellsworth (Bass). Radio Moscow played an intimate show at Gabes in Iowa City, Iowa July 3, 2012.
I had a chance to visit with Parker and Billy prior to the show. I asked Parker if the rumored power trio with Dan Auerbach on guitar and Parker on drums was actually on the radar. Parker said that this was something he and Dan had discussed a long time ago…but no. As far as power trios are concerned, Parker, Billie and Lonnie are high on the list. All the comparisons of Hendrix, Blue Cheer and all those that carved out “power trios” of the late 60’s/70’s apply to Radio Moscow. Gabes being a very intimate, basement like feel was home to RM. They mingled with the small, but enthusiastic crowd, as if everyone were close friends. During Dirty Streets set, Parker helped run the “Fillmore” homemade 60’s psychedelic light show. I was amazed at how laid back the road weary trio handled even an annoying technical glitch that was present through most of their show. Parker would just move on and play with it, making the unwanted noise part of their music. Even though the the rhythm section of Lonnie and Billy are only a few months old, they gelled seamlessly, as if they had been together for years. I count myself fortunate to have been a part of their pre 4th of July celebration at Gabes, because as Parker said, ” …I am not sure when we will make it back to Iowa…”
http://www.examiner.com/review/radio-moscow-rocks-the-heartland-2

CITY NEWSPAPER (Rochester, NY weekly) – Positive  show preview.
CHOICE CONCERTS: 7/4-7/11
Radio Moscow
Wednesday, July 11
Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave.
7 p.m. | $12 | bugjar.com
[ Psychedelic Rock ]
In some ways, tuning into Radio Moscow is exactly what you would expect: a distorted, fuzzy transmission from some dingy corner in the glory days of rock and roll. The power trio of Parker Griggs, Billy Ellsworth, and Lonnie Blanton has been turning heads the world over with its frenzied modern incarnation of psychedelic-blues-rock, including one very notable head belonging to The Black Keys’ front man Dan Auerbach, who produced the band’s debut album. Of course, the raw energy and musical chops of Radio Moscow are impossible to overlook. Like legendary predecessors Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, or the Black Keys themselves, Radio Moscow is at its best when the music is dirty and sweaty. Thankfully for us fans, with 2012’s “3 & 3 Quarters” the group hasn’t cleaned up its act one bit. — BY JARED BENNETT
http://roccitynews.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/choice-concerts-74-711/

PRESS-CITIZEN (Iowa City, IA daily) – Positive “Best Of” show preview.
Jim Musser’s High 5
Radio Moscow
Gabe’s, 330 E. Washington St.
8 p.m. Tuesday, $10 cover
Flash guitarist Parker Griggs has come a long way from his Story City basement with this retro-’60s psychedelic/metallic blues-rock power trio. After a European tour last summer, the Blue Cheer-meets-Hendrix combo recorded its third album, “The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz.”
Its current coast-to-coast, border-to-border “Great Escape…” national tour with Memphis-based fellow-travelers Dirty Streets will end Aug. 5 in San Francisco, marking 35 shows in 44 days.
http://www.press-citizen.com/article/20120628/GOIOWACITY/306280001/Jim-Musser-s-High-5

HIGH PLAINS READER (Fargo, ND weekly) – Positive “Best Bets” show preview.
Best Bets 6-28-12 through 7-2-12
Radio Moscow w/ The Dirty Streets and The Vistas
Fri., June 29, 9:15 p.m.
The Aquarium

The Iowa-based power trio Radio Moscow is touring for the release of its newest album, “The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz,” and its stop in Fargo is coming up this Friday! With Rolling Stone magazine proclaiming the album as a “psyche-rock hit,” Radio Moscow is ready to hammer you with some super heavy jams in a show that is not worth missing. Tickets are $10; for ages 21+. For more information, visit http://www.radiomoscow.net
http://hpr1.com/bestbets/article/best_bets_6-28-12_through_7-2-12/

TIME OUT CHICAGO (Chicago weekly) – Critic’s Pick show preview .
Radio Moscow + The Dirty Streets – Critic’s Pick
Hailing from Story City, Iowa, Radio Moscow sears ears with its maximum R&B-blues-rock, a power trio propelled by fuzz-enhanced riffage.
http://timeoutchicago.com/music-nightlife/music/15460556/radio-moscow-the-dirty-streets

MUTINY RADIO (San Francisco internet radio) – On air phone interview with Parker on Sat. Aug 4th at noon pacific to promote San Fran show (with Aisha Spearman)

SSG MUSIC (Seattle online music site) – Positive show preview with band photo and live video.
Radio Moscow, The Dirty Streets, Ancient Warlocks, Antique Scream @ The Tractor Tavern | 6/27 | 8 pm | $12 adv (get tickets) | 21+
Tonight, the Tractor Tavern will be shaking with loud psychedelic blues rock and massive riffs as Radio Moscow takes the stage. Radio Moscow’s sound combines the classic 60s/70s blues rock of bands such as Cream, Blue Cheer, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience with sludgy stoner rock inspired by bands such as Black Sabbath.
The band got their start with a lucky break – an unsolicited demo tape passed to the merch guy at a Black Keys show ended up impressing singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach enough for him to want to produce their debut for Alive/Natural sound records (who had also signed the Black Keys on the strength of an unsolicited demo). This was quickly followed up by their second album in 2007, Brain Cycles, which added a heavy element of stoner rock to the band’s classic 70′s hard/blues rock sound as well as bring the psychedelic elements more to the forefront. Their most recent release is 2011′s The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz.
http://www.ssgmusic.com/tonight-seattle-black-hills-hustle-drone/

SEATTLE ROCK GUY (Seattle online music blog) – Brief show preview.
WHAT’S NOT WEAK THIS WEEK – A local show round-up
by Jake Weller
Wednesday, June 27
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to don your ironic tie-dyed under-hoodie tee and neck that dose your buddy gave you a few months ago, look no further than Ballard Ave on Wednesday night at the Tractor.  As much of a turn off as that statement may be to many of you 21st Century rockers, sometimes your dad’s music ain’t all that bad – as long as it’s cranked and played by dudes that you just shared a frosty brew with at the last brutal metal show.  Bluesy guitarahedrons, Radio Moscow, are headlining this (admittedly) paisley evening, but the opening salvo of Antique Scream and  Ancient Warlocks will supply enough thick stoner groove to keep the most uptight metaller shaking like jello on an overhead projector until well into their hangover two days later.
http://www.seattlerockguy.com/2012/06/whats-not-weak-this-week_27.html

THE DISPATCH-ARGUS (Quad Cities daily) – Feature interview to preview Rock Island show.
Psychedelic rock to shake RIBCO
By Jonathan Turner

Parker Griggs is just 28, but the native of Story City, Iowa, (near Ames) is a big fan of ’60s-era, psychedelic rock. His rock band, Radio Moscow, brings that heavy, mind-blowing sound to Rock Island Brewing Company next Thursday at 9 p.m., on a bill with Dirty Streets and American Dust. Tickets are $10.

“I got into psychedelic music probably in high school, with the punk and indie rock scene,” Mr. Griggs — who now lives in northern California — said recently. “The style was so different. There are a lot more coming out now; it’s growing the last few years. There are cool bands coming out of San Diego.”

The name of his trio (which includes Billy Ellsworth and Lonnie Blanton) comes from a garage rock compilation of ’60s hits, which included “Go-Go Radio Moscow” by Nikita the K, he said. After he first formed the band in Colorado, Mr. Griggs got a demo recording to The Black Keys’ frontman Dan Auerbach, who helped Radio Moscow get signed to Alive Naturalsound Records.

After a few personnel changes, the current group is touring to support its well-received third full-length CD, “The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz,” an album Rolling Stone proclaimed is “fifty minutes of psyche-rock fireworks … like spending an evening with Jimi Hendrix, Cream, ZZ Top, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy and The Black Keys.”

Britain’s The Daily Telegraph called it a “Cream/Hendrix inspired album of cosmic blues. Main man Parker Griggs is a great guitarist and he’s clearly having a ball … exhilarating stuff.” The Salt Lake City Weekly enthused: “A bona fide blues-meets-psych-rock staple.”

New Zealand’s Manual Magazine wrote: “Radio Moscow are aficionados of the golden age of dusty rock, and clearly proud to admit it. There’s no hint of any of that sad-sack ‘ironic’ nostalgia at work here; this is the real deal, delivered with due reverence and plenty of enthusiasm. ‘The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz’ starts off with a hiss and a roar and never really lets up.

“It reverberates with stacks of thunderous fundamental riffs that have been twisted into some hard-rockin’, good-times, prehistoric metal,” the review said.

Mr. Griggs said the unique title of the album was inspired by the bucolic setting of the studio where it was recorded, an hour north of San Francisco.

“It was about how we moved out to a cabin, escaped the city, got a good place to jam,” he said. “We had authentic old tape machines, soundboards, the right kind of sound.”

A good number of the tracks on “Great Escape” are instrumentals, and Mr. Griggs said the balance between lyrics and just music depends on the mood of the piece. He does a majority of the songwriting.

Radio Moscow has played all over the world, and it’s neat to see overseas audiences go crazy for the music, Mr. Griggs said. “Some places in Europe go really wild. In Turkey, they were really appreciative of us coming out there,” he said.

Joining Radio Moscow on this tour is the Memphis-based band Dirty Streets, which mixes proto-punk, soul roots and late ’60s psych-rock. The tour also plays Gabe’s in Iowa City this Tuesday night at 9 p.m. For more information, visit radiomoscow.net.
http://www.qconline.com/archives/qco/display.php?id=598572

RIVER CITIES READER (Quad Cities weekly) – Brief show mention.
Thursday, July 5 – Radio Moscow. Iowa-based psychedelic rockers in concert, with opening sets by The Dirty Streets and American Dust. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 9 p.m. $10 advance tickets. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com.
http://www.rcreader.com/lifestyle/whats-happenin-july-5-2012/

HANGING @ THE BACK (Toronto music blog) – Brief early show preview.
The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz
June 25, 2012
Radio Moscow Hit Toronto
By hangingattheback
Iowa-based psych rockers Radio Moscow will be hitting the Big Smoke on July 12th for a gig at the infamous Comfort Zone. They’re on the road in support of their recently released album The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz.
The always awesome Little Foot Long Foot and Biblical will be joining them. Advance tix are $7 and it’s $9 at the door.
http://hangingattheback.wordpress.com/tag/the-great-escape-of-leslie-magnafuzz/

FLAGPOLE (Athens, GA weekly) – Brief early show preview.
Radio Moscow, DIrty Streets, Utah
RADIO MOSCOW California trio plays “super-heavy, lysergic-laced rock.” For fans of Blue Cheer, Black Keys and Cream.
DIRTY STREETS Memphis group plays a blend of proto-punk and late ’60s psych-rock.
UTAH Explosively loud metal and hardcore duo.
•    When: Monday, July 23, 9 p.m.
•    Where: Caledonia Lounge, Athens
•    Cost: $5 – $7
•    Age limit: 18+
•    Categories: Live Music
http://flagpole.com/events/2012/jul/23/2793/

NORTH COAST JOURNAL WEEKLY (CA Northcoast weekly) – Feature story/interview with photo to preview Arcata show.
the hum / By Bob Doran
Summer Music
Radio Moscow, plus Crow Quill Night Owls, Steve Young, Operation Water Dragon, jazz and a contest
(June 21, 2012)

You may remember the psychedelic blues power trio Radio Moscow from the time they spent living in Humboldt. They relocated here from Iowa, where the band first came together. The fiery center of the band is guitarist Parker Griggs. In fact in the beginning, when he was still a 17-year-old, Radio Moscow was just him. Alive Naturalsound recently released 3 & 3 Quarters, a collection of previously unreleased tracks from his garage rock period, songs he recorded on his own, overdubbing drums, bass and guitar.

“I was into the Nuggets box sets and that mid-‘60s sound,” he said, calling from his new home, a “rancho” in the woods near Red Bluff. “I grew up with the whole grunge rock punk thing, then started getting into ‘60s music and blues, looking into older styles different from the more depressing stuff I was into. The instrumental parts were more complex and more fun to play.”

When he moved from garage rock into wilder blues a la Hendrix and Cream, he started drawing more attention with his wailing guitar sound full of wild abandon. People wanted to hear him play live, so he put together a rhythm section and hit the road, eventually playing all over the United States and in Europe.
At the beginning of 2012, he had a new record, The Great Escape Of Leslie Magnafuzz, and a string of gigs to go with it. But at the start of the tour back home in Iowa, his bandmates rebelled and said they did not want to continue. Tempers flared. On day two of the tour the disagreement erupted onstage. “Some stuff got thrown around on the last song,” said Griggs, who ended up getting his head cut open by a flying guitar. After he got stitched up, he fired his rhythm section, hired a new one and continued the tour.

Now it’s summer and he’s about to hit the road again with his new sidemen, playing in two dozen states and in Canada between now and early August. This time, day two is a Monday show at the Jambalaya with Dirty Streets, a like-minded psyche/soul band out of Memphis. You can expect fireworks, but only in the music, not between the musicians.
http://www.northcoastjournal.com/music/2012/06/21/summer-music/

HUMCITY (CA Northcoast online blog) – Brief Arcata show preview with band photo and Grimey’s video.
http://humcity.blogspot.com/2012/06/radio-moscow-at-jambalaya-in-arcata.html

TIMES-STANDARD (CA Northcoast daily) – Feature story with photo to preview Arcata show.

Blues-rockers Radio Moscow return to Arcata Frontman describes band’s new re-release “primitive”
Myles Cochrane/Tri-City Weekly

The last time Parker Griggs and his mighty blues-rock trio Radio Moscow made their way into Arcata they shared the stage with Humboldt’s own Ethan Miller and his Rick Rubin-supported psych-rock quintet Howlin Rain in February. Griggs, a friend of and collaborator with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys (who produced ‘Moscow’s 2007 self-titled LP), is no stranger to the North Coast.
”I lived in Eureka for a year so it was kinda like a hometown show,” Griggs said. “Got to see a lot of old friends from the area and that was good. Stuck around and hung out for a few days after also. “I like the Arcata-Eureka area a lot.”
With Jimi Hendrix-esque riffs, psychedelic Cream-ish breakdowns, bluesy and powerful vocals in the same vein as Auerbach’s and a riveting mix of the psychoactive 1960s, the rockin’ and rollin’ 1970s and the thunderous and stadium-ready blues-rock of today, Radio Moscow will take the stage on Monday night at the Jambalaya after a performance by classic rock trio The Dirty Streets out of Memphis.
Influenced heavily by the grungy “Seattle sound” scene made popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Griggs first picked up a guitar at age 10.
”I was into sports like most kids earlier but then got inspired by grunge rock and lost all my interest in being in sports and most other things,” he said. “(I) started a grunge band when I was around 12 but I was on drums and vocals. I did write the guitar parts for the songs though.”
Formerly known under the solo name Garbage Composal, Griggs’ first big break with Radio Moscow was when he was able to get a demo into the hands of Auerbach several years ago.
”I passed along a demo to the Black Keys merch guy at a show and got a call later that night from Dan saying he really liked my music and that he was going to give it to a record label,” Griggs said. “Maybe a year later I got another call saying come to Ohio and lay this stuff down. I added lyrics to the music then went to Ohio, and we recorded it all in two days. Dan was a cool dude and showed me a lot of good bands when I stayed at his place. It was a cool way to start Radio Moscow´s career.”
Radio Moscow currently shares a spot on the Alive Records’ lineup with the likes of The Black Keys, Buffalo Killers and more.
After releasing their incredible self-titled, 2010’s “Brain Cycles” and the blues-rock-roller-coaster ride that is 2011’s “The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz,” Griggs just recently released a collection of minimalist White Stripes-esque Radio Moscow tracks that he recorded solo in 2003 called “3 & 3 Quarters.”
”It’s my old garage rock basement recordings from when I was 18,” Griggs said. “The record label dug it so I had it re-released. It’s a different thing than Radio Moscow is now though. Much more primitive.”
While the lineup for Radio Moscow on drums and bass has changed often, the current incarnation features Billy Ellsworth on bass and Lonnie Blanton on drums.
”I hope (they’re here to stay for a while),” Griggs said. “It’s quite bothersome to reteach the songs all the time (laughs).”
Before kicking off this next leg of his tour, Griggs is currently vacationing after a three-month stint in Europe.
”We toured with (Swedish blues-rock quartet) Graveyard and I think they’re great,” Griggs said. “I’m vacationing in Spain right now and I’ve been hanging out and jamming with a brand new band called Prisma Circus from Barcelona. They’re very good.”
While Griggs has lived all over the place in Iowa, Colorado, Utah and California (hence the title of Alive Records’ recent label compilation album “Where Is Parker Griggs?”), the musician says his home is “on the road” for now.
”I have a house in the woods in Northern California about three hours from Humboldt but I think I’m relocating somewhere else when I return from the next tour,” he said. “It was hard to stay on top of things and catch all the opportunities when I was living in the woods.”
The next tour which hits Humboldt on Monday will see the trio travel to 35 cities all over the United States and even to Canada — a first for Parker.
Another exciting possible first would be the formation of a heavy supergroup with Griggs on drums.
”I’ve talked with Dan (from The Black Keys) about starting a heavy psych power trio with me on drums and Dan on guitar and someone else on bass,” Griggs said. “But it’s been awhile since we discussed that.”
Before the show on Monday, Radio Moscow fans in Humboldt might be able to be victorious in playing “Where Is Parker Griggs?” if they look in the woods, the mountains and the local record shops.
”It’s nice to make some time to check out nature and get out of town for awhile,” he said. “I try to go record shopping in town before shows too if there’s time. I’ve got some cool stuff from traveling around.”
Tickets for Monday night’s 21-and-over show at the Jambalaya can be purchased for $8 at the door.
”Should be a good night,” Griggs said. “We have a band called Dirty Streets from Memphis with us and they are rad. Come hang.”

If you go
What: Radio Moscow, The Dirty Streets
When: 9 p.m. Monday
Where: Jambalaya, 915 H St., Arcata
Admission: $8 (door), 21+
http://www.times-standard.com/entertainment/ci_20888779/blues-rockers-radio-moscow-return-arcata-frontman-describes

THE WASTER (online music site) – News story about tour with band photo, Creepin mp3 and related links.
http://thewaster.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2341:radio-moscow-summer-tour&catid=6:news-wire&Itemid=82

ANTIQUIET (online music site) – News story about tour with band photo, Creepin mp3 and related links.
Tour Dates:  Radio Moscow
Radio Moscow Announces Summer Tour Dates
By Jason Shane
Radio Moscow are heading out on the road this summer to again support their third LP The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz, which came out last fall on Alive Naturalsound Records. Parker Griggs and company will hit nearly every corner of the U.S., playing 35 dates in 25 states plus Ontario.
Joining Radio Moscow are Memphis’ The Dirty Streets, and Lance Gordon of Mad Alchemy will again be providing a tripped-out liquid light show as he did on the band’s U.S. and European tours earlier this year. The tour kicks off on June 23rd at Whiskey Dick’s in South Lake Tahoe, California, heads east across the northern part of the States, then down the East Coast and back across the South and Desert Southwest, before returning to California and wrapping up at Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco on August 5th.
Don’t miss this incendiary live act when they come to a club near you
http://www.antiquiet.com/dates/2012/06/radio-moscow-announces-summer-tour-dates/

THE SODA SHOP (online music site) – News story about tour with band photo, Creepin mp3 and related links.
http://www.thesodashop.us/2012/06/11/radio-moscow-kicks-off-u-s-headlining-summer-tour/

HELLHOUND MUSIC (online music site) – News story about tour  with band photo, Creepin mp3 and related links.
http://hhmzine.blogspot.com/2012/06/radio-moscow-tour-us-this-summer-free.html

FARONHEIT (Chicago online music blog) –  “Creepin'” mp3 featured in their 6/13/12 “Pick Your Poison” mp3 feature.
http://faronheit.com/2012/06/pick-your-poison-wednesday-6-13-12/

THE HAWTHORNE EFFECT TO RELEASE THEIR DEBUT FULL-LENGTH “AWAKEFULSLEEP” JULY 10TH!

The Hawthorne Effect is the phenomenon by which knowing one is being observed affects one’s behavior. Every day we are watched by eyes in the sky, by computers and cell phones, by others around us, and by estranged parts hidden deep within, alternate identities within our very selves. This knowing is part of our reality and this reality is now.

The Hawthorne Effect is also a four-piece rock band from Chicago. The name implies depth and the songs on their full-length debut, Awakefulsleep, reflect the name. Each song has been carefully crafted from beginning to end, not only rich with layers of meaning, but with layers of melody and musical sensibility. It’s where simplicity meets the source. What we know and don’t speak of; what we see and often forget. The songs are about the general and the specific, serving as projective tests that allow the listener to generate multiple meanings, while packaged neatly inside a well straightforward simple message as well.

The songs were written by the band’s creative fountainhead John Jauch (Smoke Off Vinyl/Killing the Enemy), who has been an active member of the Chicago music scene for the last decade and has had his music featured on television and radio programs across the globe.

All the songs on Awakefulsleep were tracked, arranged, mixed, and mastered at Stranded On A Planet recording studio in Chicago, under the technical and musical prowess of producer Scott Fritz (Nadia Ali, Martha Berner, Cavalier King) and features the talents of several studio musicians: including Fritz, William Sprawls, Tyson Ellert, and Bethany Fritz.

The album is a roller-coaster of emotion and reflects the differing sides of the human experience not only through lyrics, but also in sound. Addiction, oppression and mortality are just a few of the topics touched upon in this ten song soundtrack of lives that is unclassifiable as a whole, yet still somehow hauntingly familiar.

The Hawthorne Effect will release their full-length debut album Awakefulsleep on July 10th through Red Mist Records, and will be available in CD and Digital formats.

FEEL FREE TO DOWNLOAD & SHARE THE HAWTHORNE EFFECT’S NEW SONG “DRUNK MISTAKE” FROM THEIR FORTHCOMING ALBUM AWAKEFULSLEEP:
http://soundcloud.com/pavement-pr/the-hawthorne-effect-drunk

The Hawthorne Effect’s Awakefulsleep Tracklist:
01 All Wars Start This Way
02 The Same
03 Viva
04 Run
05 Anything
06 Drunk Mistake
07 Marry Him
08 Awakefulsleep
09 Devil Don’t Care
10 Goodbye

THE HAWTHORNE EFFECT’S TOUR DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON

FOR MORE INFO ON THE HAWTHORNE EFFECT:
http://www.thehawthorneeffectmusic.com
http://www.facebook.com/the373

FOR MEDIA AND INTERVIEW REQUESTS:
Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775
e: bonyata@wi.rr.com

ALABAMA SHAKES’ BRITTANY HOWARD CALLS LEE BAINS III & THE GLORY FIRES HER NEW FAVORITE BAND IN NME!

Check out the latest edition of the UK’s NME Magazine for their “Band Crush” feature where Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes gives a strong case as to why her new favorite band is Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires. You go, girlfriend!

  • Tour Dates

    • 12/27/17 CRACKER & CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN in Solana Beach, CA at Belly Up Tavern
    • 12/28/17 CRACKER & CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN in Los Angeles, CA at Teregram Ballroom
    • 12/29/17 CRACKER & CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN in Santa Cruz, CA at The Catalyst
    • 12/30/17 CRACKER & CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN in San Francisco, CA at Great American Music Hall
    • 12/31/17 CRACKER & CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN in San Francisco, CA at Great American Music Hall
    • 01/02/18 CRACKER & CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN in Tucson, AZ at 191 Toole
    • 01/05/18 CRACKER & CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN in Austin, TX at 3ten @ Austin City Limits Live

    View All