Sunday, January 13, 2013

Inbox Update: Amos Lee, Being There, 'Sounds Like Bobby Sutliff' tribute

There are a growing number of notable releases (both DVDs and albums) set to arrive this winter. I've posted some of the highlights of recent announcements here...

On March 12­, 2013, Artists Den Records and EMI Music in conjunction with Blue Note Records will release Amos Lee: Live from the Artists Denon DVD. A live album of music from this concert will also be available for download on January 9th exclusively at This epic show was filmed during a special, intimate performance at the historic Fox Theatre in Tucson, Arizona.  Selections from the show aired nationwide on public television’s Live from the Artists Den, the hit music series featuring acclaimed artists performing in extraordinary settings.

Now released in full for the first time, the DVD features bonus interview clips and concert footage not included in the television broadcast, including guest appearances by local heroes Calexico (who also appeared on Lee’s most recent album Mission Bell, which was also produced by the band’s Joey Burns) and the Silver Thread Trio and a stunning rendition of Willie Nelson and Ray Charles’ “Seven Spanish Angels.”

Amos Lee: Live from the Artists Den is the seventh concert DVD release from Artists Den Entertainment, following Robert Plant & the Band of Joy: Live from the Artists Den, which debuted in the Top 5 of the Billboard Music DVD charts. This product is available for pre-order at the Artists Den store ( and Amazon (

Since the release of the Amos Lee album in 2005, the Philadelphia-born and -based former schoolteacher has been one of his generation’s most celebrated songwriters. After being named one of Rolling Stone’s “Top 10 Artists to Watch,” Lee quickly went on to tour with such giants as Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, Paul Simon, and Elvis Costello. His next two albums—Supply and Demand (2006) and Last Days at the Lodge (2008)—continued to extend his audience and his reputation, and he’s gone on to collaborate with everyone from Willie Nelson and Norah Jones to Lucinda Williams and
Zac Brown. 2011’s Mission Bell was a dramatic leap forward for Lee, debuting at
#1 on the Billboard Top 200 and garnering the best reviews of his career.

The performance captured in Amos Lee: Live from the Artists Den was filmed at the
Fox Theatre, which opened in 1930 as Tucson’s premier venue for vaudeville and film. Shuttered and left to decay for 26 years, the newly renovated Fox reopened its doors
on New Years Eve in 2005. On a sweltering night in the desert, Amos Lee made a triumphant return to Tucson, the city where he recorded Mission Bell. The subsequent concert ranged from solo showcases to arrangements for a dozen musicians and featured highlights from Lee’s latest album, as well as some of the finest songs from
his catalogue.
“It’s just an incredible opportunity to be in these kinds of venues,” Amos Lee says in the interview included in the film. “There’s so much history in these rooms – not only for the music, but just for the life that’s passed through them ... All of these things kind of factor in to that moment you step on stage.”

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 5th 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, Mumford & Sons, The Killers, Robert Plant, Norah Jones, Kid Rock, Ringo Starr, Raphael Saadiq, Death Cab For Cutie, Tori Amos, and Elvis Costello. 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

Track List:

Amos Lee: Live from the Artists Den
1. El Camino
2. Supply and Demand
3. Street Corner Preacher
4. Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight
5. Cup of Sorrow
6. Flower
7. Skipping Stone
8. Out of the Cold
9. Violin
10. Truth
11. Low Down Life
12. Jesus
13. Behind Me Now
14. Windows Are Rolled Down
15. Night Train
16. Seven Spanish Angels

Being There
Breaking Away
Young & Lost Club
29 January 2013

London based indie alt-rockers Being There will release their debut album, Breaking Away, on January 29 in the U.S. via Young & Lost Club.  The band recently released videos for their tracks ‘The Radio’ and ‘Back to the Future,’ which can be seen at the links below.

‘The Radio’ -
‘Back to the Future’ -

Formed towards the end of 2010 after meeting at university in Manchester, the now London based band Being There started working with label Young & Lost Club from the offset, after vocalist and guitarist Sammy Lewis previously worked with the label as a solo performer. Joined by James Robinson (bass & vocals), Tom Rapanakis (drums) and Nick Olorenshaw (lead guitar) Being There spent 2011 on the road with Noah & The Whale, releasing their debut single, recording their debut album and rounding the year off as one of NME’s ones to watch for 2012.

Being There spent much of 2012 on the road with a brief stint in the studio to record Breaking Away onto tape during a two-week stay in Leeds with producer Richard Formby (Wild Beasts, Spectrals).

With a strong coming of age theme, Breaking Away is inspired by a nostalgia for teen years that feel full of possibility, but are also, as Sammy says, a time that’s “tinged with a sense of limitation, feeling trapped in the suburbs waiting to grow up or just waiting for something to happen”.  The band are conscious that it also relates to the current environment where “so many people we know are experiencing an extended adolescence, where you are a graduate but can’t find a job and are stuck at home again dreaming of escape”.

Opening track ‘Punch the Clock’ sees Breaking Away begin as it means to go on; awash in wave after wave of syrupy Jesus and Mary Chain-style guitars and sweetly understated vocals telling of a car drive through London. It eventually burns out leaving gently ringing drones that morph into the propulsive ‘Back to the Future’; a song loaded with escapist imagery (and a Randy Newman reference). Upcoming single ‘Tomorrow’ is where Breaking Away really kicks into full throttle however; it’s a hyperactive hit for the summer buoyed by the best fuzz guitar hooks this side of Dinosaur Jr.

Breaking Away‘s appeal isn’t just limited to its hard-hitters though. The delicate and reflective ‘To Infinity And Beyond’ shows a lighter side of the band, with clear nods to acts such as The Lemonheads and Herman Dune. It’s a sound they go on to develop further on the straight up pop songs and singles ‘17’ and ‘The Radio,’ which both perfectly demonstrate the band’s ability to write hugely catchy, lo-fi indie pop songs for the 21st century.

Breaking Away will be released in the U.S. through the Young & Lost Club label on January 29.


Breaking Away Track List:
1. Allen Ginsberg
2. Back To The Future
3. Breaking Away
4. Infinity
5. Over Me
6. Punch The Clock
7. The Radio
8. Silent Runners
9. Tomorrow
10. Up
11. 17

For More Information: 

Skrang CD to Benefit Windbreaker Bobby Sutliff featuring Velvet Crush (w/Matthew Sweet), Don Dixon, and members of the dB’s, Wilco, Rain Parade, Long Ryders & More
Record Release Party/Benefit Set for January 19th at the Earl in Atlanta featuring Rain Parade (First Show in Two Decades!), Tim Lee 3 & The Head

Power pop fans know Bobby Sutliff, dating back to the Windbreakers’ 1982 EP Meet The Windbreakers and extending to the present. Bobby’s facility at turning both ecstasy and heartbreak into tangible artifacts of comfort, and at soundtracking those emotions as personal cinema, is as profound as it comes. His songs have affected and enriched in so many ways, so it came as no surprise that when news of his near-fatal automobile accident last year reached the music community, the response was swift and succinct: time to give back to the artist.

Fellow Windbreaker Tim Lee sprang into action, accepting help from the cream of the crop in the power pop world to create a Bobby Sutliff tribute album Skrang, featuring Peter Holsapple (the dB’s), Tim Lee 3 (natch), Don Dixon, Velvet Crush (w/Matthew Sweet, no less), Matt Piucci of the Rain Parade, Bill Lloyd, Donovan’s Brain, Will Kimbrough, John Stirratt of Wilco, Russ Tolman from True West, the Long Ryders’ Tom Stevens—and a slew of other Sutliff compatriots and associates.

Rain Parade stepped up to perform together for the first time in 20 years, they’ll share the stage at The Earlon January 19th with Tim Lee 3 and The Head. As RP frontman Matt Piucci succinctly noted, “Our friend is badly hurt. We were asked to help. Here we come.”

Blurt editor Fred Mills compiled his thoughts for the album, articulating the importance of Sutliff and the context in which his music resonates. He wrote, “Patti Smith once told this writer that the artist’s role goes far beyond simply reflecting and commenting upon cultural events and trends. “Artists offer us a shoulder to lean on, an empathy,” she said. “Artists let us know that we’re not alone and that someone understands what we’re going through.”

I think of Smith’s comments now while listening to the tunes on Skrang, the Bobby Sutliff tribute album organized by his close friend (and erstwhile partner in Southern pop legends The Windbreakers) Tim Lee. Was there ever such a sensitive, penetrating—and yes, empathetic—song as Sutliff’s “That Stupid Idea,” originally on the Windbreakers’ classic LP from 1985, Terminal? Or “New Red Shoes” (also from Terminal), “I Thought You Knew” (At Home With Bobby & Tim, 1989) and “The Girl From Washington” (Electric Landlady, 1990)? Or solo Sutliff tracks like “Long Red Bottle of Wine” (2002’s Perfect Dream) and “Second Choice” (1987’s Only Ghosts Remain)?

These and numerous other Sutliff tunes have long resonated with me, for those very reasons and more—okay, I’m a sucker for a jangly guitar, an urgent-yet-tuneful vocal and a shimmering melody—and to hear them revisited and reinterpreted so delightfully by a talented cadre of Sutliff’s pals, peers and bandmates only reaffirms in my mind the man’s songwriting genius.

It’s all a labor of love, and with far more musical substance and emotional wallop than 99% of contemporary tribute albums, which typically bear the fingerprints of managers and labels looking more to pad their clients’ resumes than pay homage or discern aesthetic truths. In the final estimation, these musicians know, love and have worked with Bobby, and upon hearing the call, they stepped up to the plate.”

Saturday, January 19th
The Earl, Atlanta, Ga.
Cover: $20 (available at
488 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316

Skrang Track Listing:
1 Velvet Crush (w/Matthew Sweet)        Second Choice
2 John Thomas                               Make a Fool Outta Me
3 John Stirratt (Wilco)                    Girl from Washington
4 Matt Piucci (Rain Parade)            That Stupid Idea
5 Anderson Council                        Griffin Bay
6 Peter Holsapple (dB’s)                Ballygrand
7 Will Kimbrough                            Off & On
8 David Minchew                            Change the Way
9 Bill Lloyd                                      Same Way Tomorrow
10 Tom Stevens (Long Ryders)      Bitter Fruit
11 Don Dixon                                 New Red Shoes
12 Tim Lee 3                                  I Thought You Knew
13 Donovan’s Brain                        Oh Lorelei
14 Jeff Lewis                                  Elam Bridge
15 Michael Carpenter                     Long Red Bottle of Wine
16 Kirk Swan (Dumptruck)             From a Distance
17 Russ Tolman (True West)          Devil & the Sea
18 Koenig’s Road                           Ghost Town

Skrang: Sounds Like Bobby Sutliff will be available at the Jan. 19 benefit in Atlanta. Afterwards, it will be available from the following:
Career Records -
Paisley Pop Records –
Cool Dog Sound –

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