Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sights and Sounds: The Replacements, First Aid Kit, 'Live From the Artists Den'

This fall promises to provide a wealth of noteworthy releases. From Micky Dolenz' Remember and the Freddie Mercury documentary The Great Pretender (which are both set to arrive this Tuesday, Sept. 25), there is a wide range of new DVD/Blu-ray and album releases set to hit between now and the end of 2012, as well as music specials coming to television. Here are several high-profile releases that landed in my inbox late last week...

The Replacements 'Color Me Obsessed' comes to DVD on November 20, 2012

COLOR ME OBSESSED, the first documentary about famed 80's indie-rock band The Replacementswill be released in a two-disc DVD set (with 6 hours of extras) on November 20, 2012 via MVD Entertainment Group.

Told through the eyes of fans, friends, and contemporaries, COLOR ME OBSESSED breaks from the traditional music documentary format of music and performances. Not looking to make a VH1/where-are-they-now style documentary, director Gorman Bechard took a unique approach, "I decided to present the band in a more iconic way," he explains. "I thought, people believe in God without seeing or hearing him but rather through the passion, faith, and stories of others. After watching COLOR ME OBSESSED, I'm pretty sure music fans will believe in The Replacements in much the same way."

Telling the band's story was a project close to the heart for Bechard. Like many who were weaned on punk music he latched onto this brash young Minneapolis band with fervor. Dubbed "the last best band" by Spin Magazine, their live shows could be miraculous or downright disasters. Their fans, unwaveringly faithful. As critic's darlings, their albums were wrought with angry guitars and passionate well-written lyrics that hinted at potential commercial success. Yet, somehow, the band managed to continually shoot themselves in the foot. Their relative obscurity was a motivating factor in presenting their story on film. "The Replacements should have been the next Rolling Stones," Bechard says, "And to the people who loved them, I think they were."

Combining over 140 interviews with rockers (Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, Tommy Ramone, Grant Hart and Greg Norton of Husker Du, all three members of Goo Goo Dolls), journalists (Robert Christgau, Legs McNeil, Ira Robbins, Greg Kot, Jim DeRogatis), and fans both famous (Tom Arnold, Dave Foley, George Wendt) and not, Bechard delivers the obsessive tale of the most influential band you've never heard of, The Replacements. And though containing not one note of their music, COLOR ME OBSESSED is a documentary that really rocks.
Bechard is also releasing his Archers of Loaf reunion tour/concert documentary WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? on November 20. The film features the Indie rock icons playing two hometown concerts at Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill, NC. It premiered at NXNE in Toronto in June.



First Aid Kit premiered their dreamlike, kaleidoscopic new video for single "Wolf" today on Vevo. Shot in the forest of Järvsö, Hälsingland in Sweden, the Johan Söderberg-directed video can be seen here: "It's about our destruction of the planet," said the band. "But it's also about finding the animal within you. Because we know that underneath that polished, civilized exterior there is definitely a wild creature longing to howl or roar." "Wolf" is also now available as a single via all major digital retailers, including iTunes and Amazon.

Last week, First Aid Kit's exclusive iTunes Session arrived on the iTunes store and features Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg augmented by a full string section for the first time. The session is comprised of slightly restyled arrangements of four songs found on their acclaimed sophomore LP The Lion's Roar; one each from debut album The Big Black and the Blue and their Drunken Trees EP"Wolf"; and their celebrated cover of Patti Smith's "Dancing Barefoot", never before recorded. The Lion's Roar producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Monsters Of Folk) performs on all tracks, while Conor Oberst reprises his guest verse on "King of the World."

First Aid Kit's North American fall tour - their biggest to date - begins on September 24 in Chicago, IL, and continues through October 20 in Seattle, WA, and includes an October 12 performance at the Austin City Limits Festival. A limited edition, deluxe package of The Lion's Roar will be available on October 2, which features additional tracks as well as a DVD of live on-the-road documentary Follow You Down and music videos for three The Lion's Roar tracks, among other items. A full itinerary is below.

First Aid Kit continue to have an amazing 2012, performing earlier this month to a packed crowd from the main stage at the UK's Bestival fest (watch them play "Emmylou" here: Late last month, they performed Simon & Garfunkel's "America" at the Polar Music Prize ceremony to a standing ovation from Paul Simon himself ( The Lion's Roar was released on January 17th via Wichita Recordings and has already sold over 150,000 copies worldwide (over 50,000 in the US alone), while the band made their US television debut on Conan in April and performed at the Coachella, Newport Folk, and Lollapalooza festivals this year as well.

Fifth season of 'Live From The Artists Den' set to premiere on October 5, 2012

New season features Norah Jones, The Wallflowers, Rufus Wainwright and Mayer Hawthorne

On October 5, 2012, the fifth season of the innovative music series Live from the Artists Den will premiere nationally on public television with an episode featuring nine-time Grammy Award winner Norah Jones (check local listings). The New York Emmy-nominated show-about which the New York Times said, "on this show, the setting is a headliner, too"-connects music fans with a remarkable line-up of icons and emerging stars performing in unique and historic venues. The exciting new season features Norah Jones, The Wallflowers, Rufus Wainwright, and Mayer Hawthorne. Viewers can preview clips from the episodes on the Artists Den website at The series is a production of Artists Den Entertainment presented by WLIW21 in association with WNET New York Public Media, and is distributed by American Public Television.  

"People are always asking me what place I love to play the most," said Jones at her taping of Live from the Artists Den at the Green Building in Brooklyn. "I always say it's really not about the country as much as it is the venue. It's so nice to play in a place that has a good vibe."

The season will air nationally on public television in many of the country's top markets, beginning this October. In the New York metro area, Live from the Artists Den will premiere Fridays at 10pm beginning October 5th on THIRTEEN and Saturdays at 10pm beginning October 6th on WLIW21. In the Greater Los Angeles area, the series will premiere Sundays at 8pm beginning October 28th on PBS OC; in Washington, D.C., Sundays at 11pm beginning October 7th on WHUT; in Dallas, Thursdays at 11pm beginning October 11th on KERA; in San Francisco, Tuesdays at 11pm beginning October 9th on KQED; in Philadelphia, Sundays at 10pm beginning October 7 on NJTV; and in Minneapolis, Saturday, October 6th at 10pm and Tuesdays at 11pm beginning October 9th on TPT. For premiere dates and air times in other markets, visit

Live from the Artists Den is filmed in high-definition.

Beginning October 5 - Grammy Award-winner Norah Jones at the Green Building in Brooklyn, NY.
October 12 - Multiplatinum rockers The Wallflowers at Bimbo's 365 Club in San Francisco.
October 19 - Vocal virtuoso Rufus Wainwright at the Church of the Ascension on New York's Fifth Avenue.
October 26 - Soul phenomenon Mayer Hawthorne at the historic Park Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

For WNET New York Public Media, Executive in Charge: Gillian Rose.
For the Artists Den: Executive Producer Mark Lieberman. 

About the Artists Den

Live from the Artists Den is a three-time New York Emmy®-nominated music television series that features popular recording artists performing in non-traditional settings throughout North America.Live from the Artists Den aired its 4th season nationally on public television in 2012, has expanded digitally through Hulu, Pandora, and Vevo, and is now broadcast internationally in Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Israel and Latin America.

Featured artists have included Adele, Kid Rock, Ben Harper, Regina Spektor, Ringo Starr, The Fray, Raphael Saadiq, Death Cab for Cutie, David Gray, Corinne Bailey Rae, the Black Crowes, Alanis Morissette, Tori Amos, Elvis Costello and Robert Plant. Featured venues have included Graceland, the first art museum in America, a Masonic temple, a former Archdiocese cathedral, a 1930s silent movie theater, the world's oldest merchant sailing vessel, the New York Public Library, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A full listing of previously featured artists, TV episodes, and venues can be viewed at

No comments: