Posts Tagged ‘Yep Roc Records’

Yep Rock is delighted to announce Robyn Hitchcock’s new video “Autumn Sunglasses” Starring Gillian Welch and shot on location in East Nashville, the video was devised, directed, filmed and edited by Jeremy Dylan.

Of the video, Hitchcock offers, “This song was written and set in Sydney, but the mood was just right this September in East Nashville. Gillian Welch, Harlowe Quinn from the 5-Spot (glimpsed onstage there with his band Prayer Flags), and Tubby my Scottish Fold cat are all local characters; they helped Jeremy Dylan and I crystallize the feel of summer turning to autumn here in Tennessee.”

From the new self titled record from Robyn Hitchcock – out now on Yep Roc Records


Yep Roc Records is excited to announce that for the first time in decades, you can now own Nick the Knife, The Abominable Showman, Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit, The Rose of England, Pinker and Prouder Than Previous, and Party of One all on CD and LP! Bundle all of them together and get a great discount PLUS a limited edition Nick Lowe lunchbox is for free!

Nick Lowe first came to prominence during the British pub-rock scene of the early ‘70s as a member of the legendary band Brinsley Schwarz. Between 1969 and ’75, Lowe sang, played bass, and wrote songs for the band’s six albums, which today are cherished collectibles for the faithful pub-rock fan. After the break-up of Brinsley Schwarz, Lowe tinkered around as a solo artist, releasing singles like “So It Goes” for Stiff Records, where he also worked as the label’s staff producer (working with Elvis Costello, the Damned, and Dr. Feelgood). Lowe also performed as part of the band Rockpile with Dave Edmunds. Lowe released his solo debut, Jesus of Cool (titled Pure Pop for Now People in the U.S.) in 1978, followed by the hit album Labour of Lust.

After marrying singer Carlene Carter (Johnny Cash’s stepdaughter) in 1979, Lowe recorded a single album with Rockpile, 1980’s Seconds of Pleasure, the band enjoying a modest hit when the album charted Top 30 in the U.S. After the break-up of Rockpile (whose members had also played played on various Lowe and Edmunds solo LPs), Lowe returned to his solo career with Nick the Knife. Recruiting former Rockpile bandmates Billy Bremner (guitar) and Terry Williams (drums), Lowe brought friends like guitarist Martin Belmont (from the Rumour) and keyboardists Steve Nieve (the Attractions) and Paul Carrack (Squeeze) into the studio. Nick the Knife features a solid set of Lowe’s pop-rock originals (including two songs co-written with Carter, who also sings on the album) as well as a version of the Rockpile song “Heart.”

The following year’s The Abominable Showman found Lowe returning to his pub-rock roots, recording with a stripped-down band that included Belmont, Carrack, and drummer Bobby Irwin, who formed the core of Lowe’s Cowboy Outfit backing band throughout the decade. The album offers up some fine rockin’ country-tinged moments and a few great songs like “Ragin’ Eyes,” “We Want Action,” and “Time Wounds All Heels,” the last two co-written with Carter. A cover of Moon Martin’s “Paid the Price” fits nicely on the track list.

Reissues of both of these long out-of-print albums is certainly welcome, and comes at a nice time as Lowe’s friends and Yep Roc labelmate’s Los Straitjackets will be releasing their tribute to the songwriter with their new album, What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and

Chuck Prophet’s smart new collection of songs, “Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins”, begins with a celebration of the enigmatic one-hit rock curiosity who sang “I Fought The Law” in 1964 and then, shortly after the song took off, he was found dead in his car at the age of 23 years old.

Fuller’s death remains a mystery, and perhaps as a result, his song and story has resonance for record lovers like Chuck Prophet. He begins the second verse of “Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins” by talking about the experience of listening: “I hear the record crackle, the needle skips and jumps,” he half-sings as the pedal steel guitar careens Byrds-like . That leads to Prophet’s central confession.

With that, we’re off, riding shotgun down some mythic highway with a rock true believer who is not sure of much beyond the primacy of two guitars-bass-and-drums and a handful of raggedly hacked chords. On this journey, the 53-year old Prophet whose past discography includes the pioneering psychedelic Americana band Green On Red and a stack of strong solo albums .

Prophet has described his new work as “California Noir.” With a few exceptions the gloriously leering “Your Skin,” a gem of a song that is most impassioned, the record bears little resemblance to the stylized L.A. noir of  maybe say a James Ellroy novel. It’s murky, coated with fog and shadows – in some ways, it picks up where Prophet’s high-concept history of San Francisco, 2012’s album “Temple Beautiful” .

Its narratives are often dark: Several songs are set in the aftermath of gun violence – one pays homage to Alex Nieto, a Bay Area man killed by police; another tells of the tragic encounter between a shop girl with a song in her heart and a brutal “Killing Machine” who offs people at a store . Mostly, though, Prophet is drawn to the romance of rock culture.

Chuck Prophet has been on the road forever, he’s spent lifetimes amongst its traveling circus of savants and misfits. Sometimes his passion gets misplaced: The album’s most obvious misstep is “Bad Year for Rock and Roll,” which deserves an award for stating the obvious, over and over again. Its chorus ends with a telling couplet: “I wanna go out, but I’ll probably stay home.”

It’s an odd moment, especially since the rest of Bobby Fuller deals with what happens when you don’t stay home. The unsparing, possibly autobiographical “We Got Up and Played” finds Prophet and band standing around after soundcheck, facing the prospect of another night in a grimy club. Prophet goes acidic as he sketches the scene’s less-than-glorious aspects – the cast of characters includes “the bartender standing in the middle of the street with his pants around his neck.” It’s slightly sordid, sure, yet the song captures something fundamentally compelling about people who, despite long odds and great indifference, climb onto a stage and attempt to create music night after night.

Chuck Prophet – “Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins” – 11/1/2017 – Paste Studios, New York, NY

Chuck’s new album features 13 original works that explore doomed love, loneliness and fast-paced violence via Chuck’s muscular songwriting craft. They include songs about Fuller, the death of David Bowie, and the killing of San Francisco security guard Alex Nieto that drew international headlines as “Death By Gentrification.”

‘Bobby Fuller’ finds Chuck coming full circle. He cut the album to tape at Hyde Street Studio in San Francisco, which also happens to be the same studio where Prophet did his very first recording session, while still in high school. Chuck brought out his ’64 Stratocaster for the sessions, conjuring a sound that Jonathan Richman once described as “gasoline in the sand, like a motorcycle at a hot dog stand.” He’s backed by The Mission Express, a band featuring his wife Stephanie Finch (vocals, keyboards, guitar), Kevin White (bass), Vicente Rodriguez (drums, vocals) and James DePrato (guitar).

Chuck Prophet“Open Up Your Heart “– 1/11/2017 – Paste Studios, New York, NY

Lead single “Bad Year For Rock and Roll” is a timely homage to rock greats lost in 2016: “The Thin White Duke took a final bow / there’s one more star in the heavens now/I’m all dressed up in a mohair suit / watching Peter Sellers thinking of you.” “Jesus Was A Social Drinker” starts as a punchy mid-tempo rocker with clanking cowbell before unfurling into an explosive, psychedelic coda.

Chuck Prophet – “Bad Year for Rock and Roll” – 1/11/2017 – Paste Studios, New York, NY

“To me, euphoria lives inside an electric guitar,”says Chris Stamey of his new Yep Roc release. “That’s a place I find freedom, passion, exhilaration: in the spaces between the notes, in the distance between the frets.”

“Euphoria” is a distinctly compelling entry in a body of work that already contains a startling amount of acknowledged classics and underappreciated gems. As solo artist and founding co-frontman of the seminal indie combo The dB’s, the North Carolina-bred singer-songwriter-guitarist has built a beloved and influential catalogue that’s earned him a devoted international fan base and established him as a godfather to the Southern alternative pop community.

Arriving on the heels of his widely acclaimed 2013 chamber-pop excursion Lovesick Blues and 2012’s long-awaited dB’s reunion album Falling Off the Sky, Euphoria finds Chris Stamey embracing his electric roots with an emotionally resonant set of rocking, melodically infectious, sonically bracing new tunes, with expansive arrangements incorporating horns and other unexpected sonic textures, and a supporting cast that includes Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub, Pat Sansone of Wilco, Django Haskins of the Old Ceremony and longtime cohort Mitch Easter.

“I found these songs inside the same dilapidated old Silvertone lipstick guitar that I’d written my first records on,” Stamey asserts. “Maybe that’s why it sounds a bit like those records in some ways.”

While Euphoria‘s songs carry echoes of Stamey’s earliest work, they also explore some unfamiliar sonic and compositional territory. “The songs sound simple, but I’ve been listening to Gershwin and Cole Porter, and trying to use chord changes in places where, on other records, I might have used echo or mixing tricks,” he says. “On songs like ‘Where Does the Time Go?’ and ‘Make Up Your Mind,’ it seems like the parts repeat, but actually they’re shifting around all the time, with little modulations and variations. I’m finding new places to go.”

In addition to Stamey’s own memorable compositions, Euphoria‘s highlights include the rousing opening track “Universe-sized Arms,” a previously unreleased Ryan Adams composition that Adams suggested he record.

While the heartfelt “You Are Beautiful” ranks with Stamey’s finest ballads and “When the Fever Breaks” is one of his punchiest rockers, the propulsive “Rocketship” offers a tip of the hat to legendary punk progenitors the MC5, whose 1971 visit to Stamey’s hometown of Winston-Salem was a seminal event in the lives of those who witnessed it.

“I’ve grown very fond of the last several Wes Anderson movies,” Stamey notes. “I love how handmade and ‘auteur’ they look, and I wanted to make a record that sounded a bit like that. At the same time, my teenage daughter got a turntable and regularly spun some of the Beatles’ records, including Rubber Soul and Revolver, albums that I’d not paid much attention to when I was growing up but that now drew me in.

“That sound—of a few musicians working up a song and playing it together, leaving a little room for George Martin-isms to fill in the gaps—was very appealing to me,” he continues. “I liked how funky and natural it all sounded. A lot of modern records sound like they’re made by people wearing new, shiny clothes who are scripting in car crashes and Marvel superheroes and the Perfect Snare. But I wanted a T-shirt sound.”

To that end, Stamey assembled some longtime friends from Chapel Hill’s fertile musical community—Tony Stiglitz, F.J. Ventre, Wes Lachot, Matt McMichaels and producer Jeff Crawford—and did some literal woodshedding.

“We started rehearsing in a tiny old shack out in the woods, and I wrote some new songs so we’d have something to play together,” Stamey recalls. “Then we ran down the road to Mitch Easter’s Fidelitorium studio to cut tracks together as a band, with Mitch on guitar as well.”

Having already explored the possibilities of string and woodwind arrangements on Lovesick Blues, Stamey, using the Beatles’ Revolver as his inspiration, incorporates a horn section—including members of New York’s legendary Uptown Horns—throughout Euphoria, along with some “Tomorrow Never Knows”-style loops on the album’s title track. The latter element was drawn partially from a woodwind piece that Stamey wrote in his youth. That composition, like several other early classical pieces he’d written, was long thought to have been accidentally destroyed, but a recording of it resurfaced last year at the tail end of the master tape of the dB’s’ 1978 debut single “If and When.”

Euphoria‘s birth cycle also found Stamey reacquainting himself with another early source of inspiration. “I was joyfully reunited with my old family piano, a Steinway baby grand that I’d first played when I was six,” he explains. “‘Make Up Your Mind’ and ‘Where Does the Time Go?’ both came from this beloved instrument.”

For the wistful, bittersweet “Invisible,” Stamey, seeking to capture a classic Winston-Salem sound, reunited Easter and Let’s Active drummer Eric Marshall, with Stamey playing bass.

The sense of discovery and adventure that energizes Euphoria is a consistent thread that runs through Stamey’s expansive catalog, which he began assembling while making avant-garde home-recording experiments in his teens. Those early efforts set the stage for obscure, but ultimately influential, independent releases with his early outfits Rittenhouse Square (with his future dB’s bandmate Peter Holsapple) and Sneakers (including dB Will Rigby and future Let’s Active leader Mitch Easter).

Moving to New York at the dawn of the ’80s, Stamey launched his own pioneering indie label, Car Records, and he played bass in Alex Chilton’s band, before making a pair of now-classic albums, 1981’s Stands for deciBels and 1982’s Repercussion, with The dB’s. He then began turning out a series of personally charged, musically adventurous gems including It’s A Wonderful Life, Instant Excitement, It’s Alright, Fireworks, his 2004 Yep Roc debut Travels in the South and the holiday-themed Christmas Time.

The Stamey oeuvre also includes a pair of duo albums with Peter Holsapple, Mavericks and Here and Now, and A Question of Temperature, on which he was backed by Yo La Tengo. He’s also worked as a sideman with the likes of Bob Mould and the Golden Palominos.

Stamey has also produced and recorded a wide variety of artists at Modern Recording, the Chapel Hill studio that he’s operated for the past two decades, including recordings by the likes of Whiskeytown, Alejandro Escovedo, Flat Duo Jets, Le Tigre and Tift Merritt.

Since 2010, Stamey has also been the musical director and orchestrator for a series of all-star international concert performances of Big Star’s classic album Sister Lovers aka Third, with a rotating musical cast that includes Big Star’s Jody Stephens as well as members of the Posies, R.E.M., Teenage Fanclub, Wilco and Yo La Tengo.

Prestigious as Stamey’s resume is, Euphoria makes it clear that the veteran artist is presently making some of the most vital and expressive music of his career.

“A lot of people who’ve heard this album have expressed the opinion that it’s very much a Winston-Salem album, and I can definitely hear that,” Stamey says, adding, “To me, these songs really lend themselves to be played live, and I’m really looking forward to doing that.”

Canadian alt-country veterans The Sadies are known for their collaborations, their last album, 2014’s And the Conquering Sun was a 10-track collaboration with iconic Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, and they have long served as Neko Case’s backing band and musical advisors. Other past co-conspirators have included Neil Young, Robyn Hitchock, John Doe, and Andre Williams.

“It’s Easy (Like Walking), the band’s first single toward their upcoming album Northern Passages, features a great new addition to the Sadies’ ranks: their former tourmate Kurt Vile, who contributes vocals. Reasonably, it could be a less reverb-drowned Violators track, but it’s a little more playful: “Hey little one up there just playing possum / Wake up to smoke ‘em from whence you got ‘em.” Vile’s vocal line is talkative and pleasantly percussive, a perfect counterpoint to the thick, REM-reminiscent wash of guitars.

Northern Passages comes out on February 10th through YepRoc Records.

From the new album Northern Passages

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A track taken from the excellent album, “Night Surfer.” If I Was A Baby: I’ve never done a cover before—at least not since Queen Bee by the great Jack Clement on the first record. This is an Ezra Furman song. I’m a big fan. The drummer went home early that night so we cut this spontaneously. I think this is from Ezra’s first record. He’s got a mess of great songs. We were supposed to play some gigs together in the UK on the LFR tour a while back. But he and his band got stopped at UK customs and sent back. I was disappointed, but it also kind of warmed my heart.

Night Surfer, is  Chuck Prophet’s thirteenth studio album for the acclaimed singer songwriter, released September 23rd on Yep Roc Records.

Night Surfer was recorded in Prophet’s hometown of San Francisco at Decibelle Recording Studio, and in Nashville’s Alex the Great with producer Brad Jones (Cotton Mather, Matthew Sweet, Imperial Drag).

Says Prophet: “There are a lot of little stories on Night Surfer. But they seem to add up to one big story. What that overarching story is, I am not really sure, but I’ll know it when it punches me in the face. It’s loosely conceptual but universal all the same, I’d contend. And of course, you’ll find it laced with humor and a persistent anxiety throughout. And while I had originally considered all this leaning toward the dystopian, now I wonder. The future might just save us. But we have to get there first.

Night Surfer is all about a musical path forward, about looking around and imagining where we’ll be in 20 years if we just follow that path.”

These Days there are few things in life that give me cause for celebration, but a new record from The Felice Brothers. The band from the Hudson Valley make music as odd and interesting as it is entertaining. A wonderful live band,

Today the band released a video for their new single, along with a date for their new album Life In The Dark (out June 24th). It’s a fun track, a bit in the vein of “Cherry Licorice” in the kind of impractical lyrics that make more sense the more you listen. The video of archive video pairs well with the song, as you can see for yourself.

The Felice Brothers new album Life In The Dark is out June 24th on Yep Roc Records and is available for preorder now.

The Felice Brothers return to Pawling, NY at Daryl’s House Club on May 12.  prepare to hear some new tunes from the forthcoming Life In The Dark (as well as old favorites).

This limited edition box set includes all 12 tracks from Chuck Prophet’s critically acclaimed Yep Roc Records release ‘Night Surfer’, plus 2 bonus tracks, all on a total of seven 7″ vinyl singles. Featuring new artwork specific to each song on the record sleeves and unique 3D cover art and back panel art on the box. 3D glasses included! Vinyl collectors and Chuck Prophet fans alike will need to own this special release. There are a lot of little stories on this record. But they seem to add up to one big story. ‘Night Surfer’ is all about a musical path forward, about looking around and imagining where we’ll be in 20 years if we just follow that path.

I want to tell you about a few things,First of all, the long awaited NIGHT SURFER 3-D BOX SET is now ready for pre-order:

Yep. You heard me. The 3D Night Surfer 7″ Singles BOX SET Collection. A total of seven 7″ vinyl singles. 12 tracks from Night Surfer, plus 2 bonus tracks. And it comes with 3D glasses(!) This limited edition box features new artwork by the legendary John Foster and is guaranteed to be the envy of your friends and might even make Jack White a little jealous. Who knows? I mean we honestly doubt he’ll hear about it, but it’s certainly possible. It’s just THAT good. Plus we have it on authority that Uncle Jack is a sensitive dude and gets his feelings hurt easily. Whatever. Oh yeah, one more thing about the box set: just to keep it interesting, we’ve sewed a couple California Lottery Superstar Crossword Scratchers in there under the artwork. Do you feel lucky? Well then, what you waiting for?

PS: I made a Spotify playlist for the occasion. Songs that inspired Night Surfer. You can get to it this-a-way:

Meanwhile, I think the Mountain Stage I taped last month was broadcast last night or over the weekend… Honestly, I’m a little confused with the whole consult-your-local-listings part but I do know it was my seventh Mountain Stage appearance because they told me so. [Again. Do you feel lucky? I know I do]. Always a treat to play with the Mountain Stage house band. Everyone there is so cool and fun to work with. It was really hard to say goodbye. So hard in fact, I thought I’d take home a souvenir or two and shoved a couple interns into a flight case. Rolled those kids right out of there and I’ve got them chained up in the basement now. They write my tweets! In fact, one of them is writing this newsletter. As is always the case, you can check it out on the interwebs:

Meanwhile back in Gigsville: We’ve got some Bay Area gigs to announce. We’re playing New Years Eve in Berkeley. And we’re also playing Santa Cruz and Mill Valley. [See below for the official dates]. Before then, I’ll be making my way out to Chicago to play an acoustic show with my main man Joseph Arthur at the City Winery.

And then Stephie and I will be heading down to Todos Santos once again for Peter Buck’s annual Todos Santos festival in Baja, California Jan 14-23 (which, after four years of playing, I’m pretty sure is in Mexico). We’ll be there with way too many bands to name check but here goes: (Death Cab For Cutie, Jeff Tweedy, Old 97’s, Drive-By Truckers, The Jayhawks, The Autumn Defense, La Santa Cecilia, Filthy Friends, Torreblanca, Tigir … plus Mark Eitzel, Steve Wynn, Kevn Kinney, Joseph Arthur, and Surprise Guests!). Get more reliable deets here:

I had a great time out there on the Rock and Roll Indian Dance tour. Drove myself all over. Lots of East Coast shows. [Incidentally: People are nuts out there. Honking and yelling and drinking Dunken Donuts coffee. It’s wild. I love it]. Played a ton of cool gigs. Plus, I had a great time visiting with Joe Belock at WFMU and enjoyed a nice on-air chat.

One memorable gig was a last minute show at The Saint in Asbury Park. As soon as I walked in I was like, “I know this place. Last time I was here a fight broke out. ON STAGE. It was 1999” [Carmaig might remember. Carmaig, are you out there?] And the bartender says, “Wellllll, there were words. But we don’t considerer it a fight, Chuck, unless the paramedics show.”

Yep. Asbury Park. I wandered around the Boardwalk and was happy to see three or four surfers out there; drinking up the waist high waves on tap as the sun was going down. I walked around looking for a turkey sandwich but to no avail. I did press my face against the glass of a 4th wave coffee joint that sadly looked like the inside of an Apple Store and decided to keep on walking. Everything’s changed. Nothing’s changed.

Tons of gigs… . Also, I wanted to thank my new friends up in Halifax, Canada for the very cool HUFF fest. They speak French up there, you know. I almost started smoking again. [Wait, was that on this tour?].

And also thanks to the folks at Technocracy for including me at their conference. We played a few songs and I made my best effort to convince the tech nerds in the audience that Jumpin’ Jack Flash is more interesting than anything Steve Jobs ever did. Ah, you know… doing gods work.

There’s a lot to be said about “Tell Me Anything (Turn to Gold)”, the latest music video from Chuck Prophet. However, any description is best left up to the man himself, who goes into great and humorous detail about the video saying, “I’ve been a longtime fan of Steve Hanft. Steve is a legend, tirelessly creative, with a sideways vision of the world, and is probably best known for directing early Beck videos. His videos are always inventive and devoid of bells and whistles. He’s a punk rock auteur.

“Through a mutual friend we met up when I was in southern California visiting family and catching some waves. We got together at Cantor’s Deli on the day after Christmas, and bonded over surfing. All the while Steve watched me eat a pastrami sandwich as big as my head. When we got up to leave, he said, ‘So what do you want your video to be?’
Prophet was quite forward with his director: “I said, I want sex. I want nudity. And of course lots of violence, but not directed at women. You know, explicit but somehow tasteful. Steve and I are also both fans of noir, especially the under-appreciated subgenre of TV noir.

Steve said, ‘When you say nudity, I assume we’re talking about female nudity?’ And I was like, ‘No, male nudity too.’ We ended up with just enough male nudity to show people why there isn’t more demand for it, even from women!“

Night Surfer is out now via Yep Roc Records.