Friday, November 28, 2008

Kevn Kinney - Asheville 2007

Kevn Kinney & Friends
Asheville, NC
@ Jack of the Wood
"Warren Haynes' X-Mas Jam By Day"

Download the show here.

Find out more about Kinney, and his other band...Drivin' N' Cryin', here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jason Isbell readies new album

Jason Isbell is ready to release the follow up to his 2007 debut Sirens of the Ditch. This will be his first record with his band, The 400 Unit. The self-titled release was recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama (if you don't know about it, do yourself a favor), and is set for a February 17th release date on Lightning Rod Records, with a 2009 tour to be announced soon.

The track listing is as follows:

1. Seven-Mile Island
2. Sunstroke
3. Good
4. Cigarettes and Wine
5. However Long
6. Coda
7. The Blue
8. No Choice in the Matter
9. Soldiers Get Strange
10. Streetlights
11. The Last Song I Will Write

"Seven-Mile Island" is now playing on Isbell's myspace, so check it out. If the new album is anything like Sirens, it will for sure prove to be a great record. Couple that with Jason having the advantage of recording the album with his everyday band? Shew, son. Dare I say the first great record of '09 possibly?

We shall see...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

MUSINK Dates Announced!

Tour dates have been announced this week for the Musink Tour in early 2009. Check out for dates and cities. Tickets and venues are TBD still, but we'll keep you posted. The closest stop on the tour is the Atlanta show, set for Sunday, March 1. Umm, count me and the crew in on this venture.

In case you aren't familiar with Musink, or missed the previous post, Musink will feature the music of Social Distortion and Motorhead, amongst others yet to be announced, along with some of the biggest names in tattooing in the world like Kat Von D (who is presenting the tour apparently) brace yourself for the loudest show of all time, along with plenty of inkin', drinkin' and rock.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thank God, and Be a Pepper

Well, the supposed Apocalypse came, and went, this weekend, with no instances that I know of. Now, I haven't actually held a copy of Chinese Democracy in my hands, or even seen an actual copy of it yet, but the word on the street is that it indeed came out yesterday...and we all survived.

And Thank God that we did because we get a free Dr. Pepper today! DP promised earlier this year that if Axl released Democracy this year, everyone would get a free Dr. Pepper. Ironically, as long as it took for the album to actually come out, you only only have until 6pm EST tonight to get your coupon here for your free 23 flavors of goodness. (The promotion was only supposed to last through yesterday, but their site went down due to the traffic and they extended the promotion through today to accommodate the Doctor's orders.)

So enjoy, and Be a Pepper, at 10, 2, and 4.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Ultimate Time Spender/Waster

Every video from your childhood...just about.

Yes, probably even ___(fill in the blank with the most obscure, random, stupid, silly video that you are ashamed and too embarrassed to admit that you liked)___.

You know that you would wait for hours for JJ Jackson, Kennedy, Jesse or even Carson, to play your video...or you were up all night waiting for Alternative Nation or Headbanger's Ball to come on on the weekends to play that loud rock n roll that you couldn't listen to with your parents around. Hell, we even waited for YO! MTV Raps to come on too, with Ed Lover and a different Dr. Dre. (that always confused me then that there were two different Dres...)

Here are a few of my old school videos that I'm not necessarily ashamed of, but I don't brag about liking them (at the time) either: 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5. My friends (at the time) made fun of me for #4, but now it's cool again. I look at it like I was an early adapter in the 10/11 year old age group that didn't have an older sibling at the time when that song came out.

I couldn't find this or that though, but that's why we have YouTube to fill in the gaps.

With this great power, careful you must be.

Don't say I didn't warn you. This will bleed your time to death.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Let's Not Jump the Guns Just Yet

Love 'em or hate 'em, or you're just plain tired of hearing about it, but we are all interested to hear what the 15 year wait (AND FUSS) is all about. Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy is the most anticipated album of all time. It's hard to imagine waiting this long for an "active" band's follow up to three of the biggest rock albums in the last twenty years of popular music- a wait that is almost three times longer than the original members were in the band together. It's even harder to believe that the world has been waiting on this album for nearly a third of the time that rock and roll has existed (think about that for a minute).

If you haven't heard the leaked tracks, or the various versions of Chinese Democracy that have been floating around since China actually regained control of its territories from the UK back in the mid-late '90s, you can (be one of the last to) preview the album tonight starting at midnight EST on GNR's myspace.

Of course, there is no way in the world that this album can be as good as it has been hyped up to be. How could it be? With the breakthrough success of Appetite, and it's double barrel blast of a follow up with the Illusions, then a half-assed covers album that really isn't considered to be a part of the GNR legacy as it shouldn't be. Chinese Democracy since its many "first" conceptions, has been destined for greatness, and failure...mostly failure, and let down. And here's why: a brief history- a somewhat fairly accurate timeline between 1993 and 2008 all from my memory, because let's be honest, it really doesn't matter now in what order it's listed in- every stage and step of the album happened a couple of times as Axl pined over, slaved on, and beat his Democracy into submission with his dictating iron fist, and lungs.

Democracy was recorded, hyped up, set-to-be-released, delayed, re-recorded, members thrown out, new members brought in, recorded some more, a single released on a movie sound track, set-to-be-released again, delayed again, recorded some more, re-arranged, leaked to the internet, more band dismissals, more band hirings, lawsuit, MTV Music Awards, a failed tour attempt, a subsequent revolving door installed in the multiple studios to make it easier on the cast of this colossal record to come and go (but mostly go), recorded some more, leaked some more, tweaked some more, remixed some, lawsuit, set-to-be-released, delayed, set-to-be-released, now. Again, I'll believe it when I see, err, hear it.

The only way that Axl and company could follow up with those initial three records would be to produce the biggest, baddest, loudest, hard rocking-est, balls and cockin'-est, mean-machinin', boozin' and bruisin', spillin' out of the bar room out to the back parking lot brawlin', son-of-a-bitch record of all time. And that is just the music. Axl has to be the baddest bitch on the block for this record to work; to even have a shot at living up to half of its hype, and to make it the wait somewhat plausible.

Will it be? Your guess is as good as mine. I have heard most of the tracks here and there, but not all together, not in album order. Hell, I'm not sure that they are the final mixes and masterings. Knowing Axl, they probably aren't. So I decided to wait, just like everyone else, so I know for sure what I am listening to, and also, because, I am a little bit excited too, that this record is about to see the light of day, and the laser reader in my car. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Chinese Democracy is set to come out finally on Sunday through Best Buy stores "exclusively", but I bet your local neighborhood indie store will find a way to have a few copies there for your (dis)liking...I'll believe it when I see it though. However, if you do so choose to G-N-R it up this weekend or later on, please shop locally, especially this holiday season, and help your fellow brothers and sisters out:

Find your closest independent store and support your 'hood, yo-- Represent!

DBT - "Perfect Timing" video

The Drive-By Truckers premiered their new video yesterday for "Perfect Timing", off of Brighter Than Creation's Dark. The video features Scott Baxendale, maker of Baxendale Guitars at the Colfax Guitar Shop in Denver, as he rushes to finish his Wes Freed-inspired guitar for turns out to be a beautiful guitar too. Check it out, along with a special appearance by The King.

Check out Baxendale's work here...and his very impressive client list. Some of the notables, along with DBT and Jason Isbell, are Hank III, Joe Walsh, James Burton, Willie Nelson, Guided By Voices, Nashville Pussy, Steve "The Colonel" Cropper, Travis Tritt and a ton more.

By the way, did I mention that the DBT are coming to January...on the the Valarium...?? Hmmm...I believe I did.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

IN CAHOOTS: Chris Phillips of Squirrel Nut Zippers

A few weeks ago, SDB caught up with Chris Phillips of the Squirrel Nut Zippers a couple of days before their Knoxville show at the Bijou Theatre on October 30th.

We asked Chris a bunch of questions, and of course, in typical drummer fashion (and sense of humor), we received some not-so-serious responses to our questions. Chris's responses were better than what I was really looking for, so it made for a great interview- see what you think. By the way, check out Chris gettin' down in the original video for their hit song "Hell" at the 1:15 least I believe that is Chris bustin' a move.

Oh- and since the show has already passed, if you didn't go, you have to buy their new album in 2009. If you did go to the show, you know it was awesome. Re-live some of it here and here...and yes, you too, still have to buy the new album in 2009.


SDB: Knoxville is really excited about y'all coming to town. Y'all were slated to perform last summer here, but if my memory serves me correctly (which it doesn't from time to time), I am fairly certain y'all ended up not playing. What happened? Despite that, we are glad to have you this time and are looking forward to the show.

SNZ: You sir are incorrect. We did in fact play and had an awesome time. Just because your bitter about missing the experience is no reason to pretend we didnt play. We did. And we had the best night of our lives. Now stop insulting me and get on with some real questions.

SDB: Y'all are no strangers to the road and touring, coming back on tour last year after a hiatus. How's it all going, especially after being off the road for a time. How is touring now different than before. Any surprises or stories that you are dying to share? Any anecdotes from the road? What are some of your favorite cities and venues to play?

SNZ: Well, touring now is vastly different than the old days. It used to be all done in Conestoga Wagons. You remember them. They were hard on the ass and short on comforts. I remember the first one we rented from this touring company. It had a seperate outhouse that we towed behind us. Everytime we wanted to pee we had to stop and go get in the outhouse. Then Indians were always attacking us. Once I even had an arrow come through the outhouse wall while I was leaving my mark. Crazy days. Now things are much better. We all have our own steam locomotives.

SDB: I am a new fan of Backyard Tire Fire, who y'all are touring with starting next week...How did they get hooked up with y'all? Did y'all had pick them out? Tell us about the Old Ceremony too, who y'all have been playing with this year. What are they like?

SNZ: Yes, BTF has paid us a huge amount of money for the privilege of opening up for us. Really the kind of money we are making off of them is obscene. More than we actually make for the concert. I am considering buying a brand new Locomotive just for the tour. It will have wonderful brown racing stripes down the side. I shall name it "The Brown Streak". We often use The Old Ceremony fiddle player, Mr Gabriel Pelli. He doesnt have his own locomotive however.

SDB: There have been several personnel changes over the years. How have these personnel changes affected SNZ? Obviously, these changes were made for the better, but what is different now than before? How is SNZ better now?

SNZ: As I recall, there are only two ways out of this band. Death or punitive legal action. Those who have left us by the first method are sorely missed to this day. Those who have moved on to pursue their legal careers are not missed at all, but do make us sore. These changes are all just part of an evolution. I cant say better or worse. Just a different beast. Strange things always happen in this band. The cool thing now is that we have perspective on our career. We can look back at the race track and see where were ahead and behind. Its better now because we all get our retirement benefits to supplement our income. AARP is sponsoring this tour in fact.

SDB: Tell us what's the plans for SNZ after these tour dates. Any talks of a new album? It's been a few years to say the least since Bedlam Ballroom.

SNZ: The band has been working in our laboratory concocting new hilarious hits, capers and operas. Even as we speak plans are being laid to make history with a brand new recording medium - an unbreakable 78 RPM CD!!! We have a live record which is going to be awesome. Great photo book, live video, interviews, mustard and relish. The works.

SDB: What else is on the horizon for y'all, both as a group and individually?

SNZ: We are planning on new studio recordings next year. We will do some touring next year also, but mainly will focus on getting or spring vegetable crops in. Then there is always the fall pruning to contend with. So any touring has to coincide with natural breaks in the harvest schedule.

SDB: During the hiatus, most of y'all had other "side" projects ranging from solo records, running recording studios, and working with other artists like the legendary Buddy Guy, William Reid of Jesus and the Mary Chain, and the Dickies.You were even the composer of Comedy Central's "Lil' Bush" show. Tell us at least about your part in these ventures and how they came to be. Obviously, these were a little different from what y'all were doing before in the Zippers. What did you take from these jaunts and bring back to the band, and what did you learn as a musician that helped make you better. How did you get the "Lil' Bush" gig? (That show was hilarious by the way!)

SNZ: Most of these projects were just extensions of who we already are. I mean, I grew up playing in punk rock bands. Jimbo is from the delta, where blues reigns. They were great things to do while we could let the dust settle from heavy years of being too busy. But as things mellowed out, we began to be interested in performing as SNZ again. So all the little things we had learned in the break have been sneaking into our new reality. Im now a cross dresser, Jimbo wears overalls, and Katharine just stands around and yells a lot. Its perfect. SNZ's sound is quite it's own, especially these days with so many groups sounding more and more the same. There's not much going on, at least around these parts, that sounds like y'all. But there seems to be more interest in the old-timey, jazzy-blues-roots music from the old days.

SDB: How did y'all get into these styles of music, and do y'all think of yourselves as revivalists for the movement in the last 10-15 years since SNZ "broke" out and really started to gain and draw attention to this type of music?

SNZ: Its funny, Jimbo and I were working in same restaurant. He and I just happened to be exploring turn of the century jazz at the same time. So like any good courtship, we started trading tapes. We made a lot of assessments from what we couldn’t hear. I mean, the recordings were primitive and you couldn’t always hear what was going on. That’s what the Zippers are doing – filling in the missing information, or at least what we imagine it to be. And that’s certainly how we play – between the lines.

SDB: Who/what are some of your biggest influences, and what did you take from them?

SNZ: [John Henry] Bonham!!! Unfortunately I was able to take much from besides being louder than anyone else in the band. God I love Zep. Hillbilly Zepplin, that’s how I think of SNZ

SDB: How did y'all's homebase of Chapel Hill, NC affect the musical interests of you and the rest of the group when y'all were forming back in the day? How did the town react to your throwback sound, especially as the end of the grunge era, just before it bottomed out, and the revival of swing, big-band and neo-jazz hit big across America? Was there an old-timey music scene up there, or just a normal college town with a little bit of everything?

SNZ: Chapel Hill was a very special breeding ground for us. At the time, Ben Folds Five, Superchunk, Southern Culture on the Skids were all quite busy. So we would all see each other when we were in town, or in exotic locales such as Peoria. That town (Capel hill, not Peoria) was very very sweet to us. We had almost immediate support. Everyone wanted us to play their weddings. Now we mainly play divorces. We are a huge divorce band. You know, like a wedding band, but not.

SDB: Besides already having a fairly extensive catalog (several albums, an EP and a couple greatest hits collections ), and without blowing your showmanship secrets and giving away surprises for the show, do you play covers or do anything in particular to surprise the crowd with that "Oh, Wow! I can't believe they are doing that" feeling and moment? Any trick or treats that y'all will be serving up to Knoxville on All Hallow's Eve?

SNZ: We usually perform along with the great Ghost of Stephen Foster video, which is pretty spooky and fantastic. There might be a Cat Power cover. And of course as we say – “Ladies and gentlemen, one night only, performing all their hits…The Squirrel Nut Zippers”

SDB: Just a couple more questions for ya... What's your favorite thing about performing live?

SNZ: Taking my pants off after the concert

SDB: Do you have a favorite song to play live, and if so what is it and why?

SNZ: She’s So Fine – Cause it makes me feel sexy inside.

SDB: Do you have a favorite song that you've written? If so why and is it the same as your favorite one to play live?

SNZ: I didn’t write it, but Hanging Up My Stockings, from our storied "Christmas Caravan" record is a beautiful thing to me. My grandfather wrote it in the 50’s. Then Jimbo gave it a new arrangement. Very sweet.

SDB: Is there a song out there that you love that you didn't write and wish you had?

SNZ: Any Led Zeppelin

SDB: What are 5 artists/records that you've been digging on lately that you might suggest to our readers?

SNZ: I love the Allison Krauss/Robert Plant Record, because Robert was in Led Zep.

SDB: Are "Nut Zippers", the candy that y'all got your name from, still around? I am not familiar with it-- Are they any good?

SNZ: They are great! Chewy caramel. Teeth pulling goodness. And yes, they are stil around. We talk to the company regularly.

SDB: Lastly, my fellow blogger "Davy Vegas" and I have a theory that the single greatest sound on the face of the earth is that of a well-played steel guitar. Being that you are well versed in many genres and instruments, I assume, and are an obvious fan of "old sounds", is this a theory you can support or do you have other thoughts on the subject?

SNZ: I can definitely get behind this. According to our research here in the SNZ Laboratories, Steel Guitar has been rated highest in over all audience satisfaction. When you factor in a can of cold Miller Highlife, the odds are that the listener will either urinate himself or herself, or explode in a spontaneous human explosion. Does that answer the question? Just ask our opening act in Chapel Hill this week. Dashawn Hickman, a sacred steel player. Rock on!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Merle Fest 2009

Tickets are now on sale for Merle Fest 2009 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Last year's festival featured Levon Helm, Marty Stuart, the Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dr. Ralph Stanley and a ton more...This year's lineup features Doc Watson, Tift Merritt, Sam Bush, Donna the Buffalo, the Duhks, Travis Tritt and the incomparable Emmylou Harris, and a ton more.

I've never been to Merle Fest, but I have heard nothing but great things about this little festival in North Carolina. Check it out.

The Boss

In addition to playing the Super Bowl Half Time in February, The Boss will be premiering his new tune "Workin' on a Dream" this weekend on the Sunday Night Football game on NBC.
"Workin' on a Dream" will be on the forthcoming album from Springsteen, due out in late January on Columbia Records. See Backstreets for more info.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Truckers in Knoxville - January 2009

As reported last week, the Drive-By Truckers posted a new song "UNCLE PHIL AND AUNT PHYLLIS IN THE MONTH AFTER THE ELECTION" on their website and on MySpace in honor of the election (Yeah, we had one last week apparently. Who knew?). Again, you can grab it here on the free-free...

Or...more favorably, as it was just announced, you might be able to hear it live here in Knoxville at the Valarium on Thursday, January 29th. Openers have not been named yet, but my wishlist is a 4-band-banger that night with the DBTs, Glossary, Lucero and local Black Crowes-meets-The Band-meets-The Truckers rockers Garage Deluxe.

We'll see what happens and of course keep you updated.

TONIGHT: Giant Tiger @ Pilot Light - Knoxville

As we reported here last month, Giant Tiger from Chattanooga will be at the Pilot Light tonight at 8pm with VBS and The Cheat. Check'em out if you if you can brave the rain.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

TONIGHT: Dropkick Murphys
@ Valarium - Knoxville

Ahh, yes. Sunday. The day of rest. Though not tonight.

As we mentioned before, the Dropkick Murphys ride into town tonight to assault Knoxville with their blended barrage of punk, celtic, folk, rock and a mean set of bagpipes. This will be the Boston bruisers' first trip to Knoxville, and their fourth stop on this tour.

I suggest you get down to the Valarium tonight, as you will not be disappointed. Let me know what you think

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

MUSINK Music & Tattoo Festival

Here's a new idea: take rock n roll and take tattoos, and put them together. BLAM! Greatest idea since this.

Ok, so maybe not such a new idea, but for the first time, here's a tour that's putting the rock and the tattoo together on display in early 2009 with the MUSINK tour.

But more importantly, the music will be provided by headliners (I can't believe they will be together on tour right next year!): my all time favorite Social Distortion and one of my newer favorites of the last few years Motorhead! "More great bands" will be announced it appears as well. Tour dates are not announced yet either, but they will be stopping in Atlanta, probably in late February or early March by the looks of the list of tour stops, and yours truly WILL be there.

And who better to present MUSINK and be the tattoo focal point than LA Ink's Kat Von D. Yea, she's on tv; yea, she is regarded now as more as the modern purveyor of pin-ups and a taker of tatts to the mall and to the masses even more so; and oh- she's dating Nikki Sixx.

But I think her show is funny, and I am not ashamed one bit to say that I have a small crush on this Hollywood Harlot. I mean, look at her.

Anyways, before I get off, ahem, too far on a tangent, along with Kat Von D, there will be many other renowned artists from all over the world...See the list. That's about all we know right now.

More info to come as it is posted...


Well, we are finally here. Tuesday, November 4th. Election Day. I didn't think we'd ever get here. This is the most important election in at least two generations. I'm not here to preach politics, nor will you probably ever hear me do that. I don't care what side you're on, or who you are supporting.

However, I will preach about doing your part as a citizen of this great, and soon to be even greater country, by taking part in the democracy that this wonderful country was founded on over 200 years ago by exercising your right to vote today.

You want change. Are you willing to make it?

Take pride, be proud, get out there today and make a difference.

We've touched on the election before here on SDB,
but I wanted to give you one more chance to grab a couple of tunes in the spirit of voting.

The Drive-By Truckers posted this one yesterday for everyone. Here's Wilco's plea to vote, and James McMurtry's as well. There are many others, too, if you'll search for them (I won't do all the work for you).

But don't spend all your time today searching. Spend it by bettering our country. She needs all the help she can get right now.
And she needs it from you.

Go vote. Please.