Friday, March 02, 2012

Sights and Sounds: Shawn Jones, Dandy Warhols, mewithoutYou

I hope to see many of you at the annual Orange County Music Awards on Saturday night (March 3) in Anaheim. But in the meantime, I've rounded up some breaking news on upcoming releases and and related tour dates, and posted it all here...

Shawn Jones set to celebrate his latest release with upcoming concert dates

One of my favorite independent singer-songwriter-guitarists is Ventura, California-based Shawn Jones. Having blown me away when I first caught him at the Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point in May 2008, he has subsequently impressed me at outings whether backed by a full band or in his winning solo acoustic outings.

Jones will be performing all over the Southland this month as he celebrates his latest CD release, a 5-song EP. Here are Shawn's upcoming dates:

Mahe, 24961 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA
Friday, March 2, 2012
7 p.m. (a solo acoustic show)
Call 949-240-6243 for more details

Lucille's Long Beach, 7411 Carson Street, Long Beach, CA
Friday, March 9
7 p.m. (a solo acoustic show)

W Gallery (Gardner Building), 21 South California St. (Main Street), Ventura, CA
Saturday, March 10
7:30 p.m. - Admission $10

For more information on those concerts and other upcoming shows, visit

Dandy Warhols Premiere "Well They're Gone" On Rolling Stone

This Machine out April 24, 2012 On The End Records

The Dandy Warhols have been a band for 18 yrs.

This Machine is the Dandy's 8th official studio album and was recorded over the course of 2011 at The Dandy Warhols rock clubhouse/ entertainment megaplex/studio The Odditorium. The band recorded the album with their longtime engineer - producer Jeremy Sherrer. Taylor-Taylor describes this record as "stripped down, woody and extremely guitar centric."

The album was mixed Tchad Blake who also mixed The Dandy Warhols Odditorium or Warlords of Mars and Come Down. Tchad is well known for his recent work with The Black Keys, Blitzen Trapper and Pearl Jam. The album cover for This Machine was painted by local Portland, Oregon painter Hickory Mertsching.

Famed Science Fiction writer Richard Morgan penned the band’s official Bio for This Machine. It’s 4 short stories that do a much better job entertaining than this bullet point list. You can get more information on the band at their official Web site.

Stand out track, Autumn Carnival was co authored by Courtney Taylor Taylor and David J of Love and Rockets. About the album, Courtney says, "We've been told that its our gothiest. I thought it was our grungiest so I'm really hoping its a hit with goths who, really outdoorsy?"

And do check out their various incarnations and side projects. Blue grass blues to Berlin '77. Some pretty deep and interesting music. And stories: Pete International Airport, Immigrant Union, Brush Prairie, One Model Nation.

This Machine Tracklisting:

1. Sad Vacation
2. The Autumn Carnival
3. Enjoy Yourself
4. Alternative Power To The People
5. Well They're Gone
6. Rest Your Head
7. 16 Tons
8. I Am Free
9. SETI vs Wow! Signal
10. Don’t Shoot She Cried
11. Slide

mewithoutYou Announce New Album Ten Stories

Set for Release May 15, 2012

Photo Credit: Ben Sasso

Select Live Shows Begin March 3, 2012

mewithoutYou returns with their 5th studio album Ten Stories, set for release May 15, 2012. A deluxe vinyl edition will be available as well. Helmed by producer and friend of the band Daniel Smith (Sufjan Stevens) and mixed by Brad Wood, Ten Stories is an allegorical collection of songs that, at first listen, follows a winding narrative about a circus train crash in 19th century Montana. But long-time fans of this band know that although we are immediately introduced to a talking elephant, fox and tiger, there is always more than meets the eye.

mewithoutYou – frontman Aaron Weiss, guitarist Michael Weiss, bassist Greg Jehanian and drummer Rickie Mazzotta – will be previewing the new songs during a run of select live shows in early March, beginning March 3, 2012 in Baltimore at Metro Gallery. A U.S. Spring tour will be announced in the coming weeks.

Ten years into their life together as a band, mewithoutYou are still searching, and they still compel us to join them in their search. Well-loved for their introspective and eccentric ruminations on life, love, loss, spirituality and temptation, Ten Stories is the result of a lot of living and a lot of death. After experiencing the joy of a newborn baby in the Weiss family in early 2010, it wasn’t too long before several deaths of relatives and friends shook the band to its core. They spent some time apart to live their lives, but it is their deep friendships that always bring them back together again.

Reflecting on their history together, drummer Rickie Mazzotta says, “Think about everything that happens in the course of a decade – death, taxes, scholastics, break-ups, birth, illness, World Series Championships, foggy memories, whack decisions, the loss of innocence, the highest highs and the lowest lows. We’ve been through a lot together. When we came together to make Ten Stories, it was spawned out of being apart for a while, home with friends and lovers, pursuing other interests and naturally gravitating back towards one another in space and sound.”

This natural reunion led to the band beginning work on Ten Stories with a relaxed approach, leisurely enjoying the summer sun and leaving behind any pre-conceived ideas of what kind of songs they wanted to make. The result is an incredibly expansive album, encompassing where the band has been and where they are going. mewithoutYou’s last album, 2009’s It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All a Dream! It’s Alright!, was a marked departure into the world of folk and written around an acoustic guitar, Ten Stories adds the band’s raucous vocals and hard-hitting instrumentation back into the mix. Still present are their melodic overtones and lush orchestration of more recent years, making for a riveting musical journey at the album’s every turn.

Through the fable-like interactions of fictitious animals, Ten Stories offers up deep ponderings and keen observations about human character flaws and the circle of life. As the band further explores their signature themes of romantic disaster and quasi-mystical speculation, a naive rabbit falls for a footloose fortune teller and a monastic walrus for a hedonistic owl. A pretentious Fox has a prophetic dream, a starving Bear has a vision of a martyred saint and an indecisive Peacock and gnostic Tiger learn the virtues of megalomania from an ego-annihilated Potter Wasp. From the urgent suspense of album opener “February 1878,” to the sweeping drum patterns and gritty vocals of “Grist for the Malady Mill,” to the psychedelic gem “Aubergine” to the special guest artist on “Fox’s Dream of the Log Flume,” it’s clear that Ten Stories is one of mewithoutYou’s most dynamic albums to date.

The cover art for Ten Stories, which will be revealed through puzzle pieces on the band’s Facebook page over the course of the next week, was illustrated by artist Vasily Kafanov, who also created the artwork for The Smashing PumpkinsMachina album. Additional pieces of art by Kafanov will be included in the album layout and an individual illustration of each song will be featured in the deluxe vinyl booklet. /

Ten Stories Official Tracklisting:

1.February 1878
2.Grist for the Malady Mill
3.East Enders Wives
4.Cardiff Giant
5.Elephant in the Dock
7.Fox’s Dream of the Log Flume
8.Nine Stories
9.Fiji Mermaid
10.Bear’s Vision of St. Agnes

mewithoutYou Upcoming U.S. Tour Dates:

March 3rd Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
March 4th Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre
March 5th Kalamazoo, MI @ The Strutt
March 6th Toledo, OH @ Frankie’s
March 7th Palatine, IL @ Durty Nellies
March 8th Columbus, OH @ Rumba Café
March 9th Buffalo, NY @ Tralf Music Hall
March 10th Lemoyne, PA @ Championship

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