Kim Cooper, author of the 33 1/3 book on Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, has been a big fan and supporter of the Loud Family for many years. If you buy a retroactive subscription to her cool 'zine Scram (that means you get the last four issues), you will receive a free copy of the Loud Family's What If It Works? autographed by both Scott and Anton! Since these two guys are rarely in the same place at the same time (Anton is currently in England), the discs are special indeed.
In other news, you can listen to the LF's "Songs About 'Rocks Off" at the ASAP blog.
125 and JonBenet
Because I'm a lifelong mystery fan, I'll admit to being a sucker for unsolved crimes and cold cases. So this morning, I couldn't help but notice the big headline in the Contra Costa Times about a former Bay Area schoolteacher's arrest in the killing of JonBenet Ramsey. But then I noticed something even more interesting. In box at the top of the front page promoting the paper's Weekend section was this: "Albany's 125 Records label marks a milestone." OK, wow, it's not often that you happen to be reading the newspaper and find that you're in it. Unless you're Paris Hilton, I guess.
Anyway, here's a link to the article, by Times pop music critic Tony Hicks, a guy who is also a frequent contributor to the paper's very funny and snarky "People" column. Thanks for the ink, Tony!
Don't forget, the Loud Family's Scott Miller will be performing at International Pop Overthrow at Thee Parkside on Saturday night
Scott Miller interview
Every few days I Google "loud family" + "what if it works," and sometimes it yields a gem, like this interview in Glorious Noise by Thomas Durkin. I remembered that Thomas had e-mailed Scott asking him for an interview, but didn't know it had been published. Take a look!
"[The album] seems like it's showing signs of doing sort of okay, but the visibility of the Amazon charts is pretty terrifying. You think you're in a good selling range, then you look and find out that your new, current release is doing almost as well as Grease II."
Trouser Press loves "What If It Works?"
I used to read Trouser Press religiously when I was in high school. These days, it only exists on the web, but it's nice to know that it's still being updated. Michael Zwirn keeps the Loud Family entry current by adding a review of WIIW? "All told, if you're looking for power pop with brains, hooks, and enough wordplay to entice a whole Scrabble tournament, What If It Works? is a great place to find it." Thanks, Michael! He also adds this tantalizing tidbit: "On the theme of inter-artist collaborations, an album of Miller's songs recorded with Aimee Mann (prior to her renewed commercial prominence) remains locked up in the vaults." Actually I think that was recorded after Aimee's Magnolia success, but Michael's right, it does remain locked in the vaults. The album was to have included acoustic reimaginings of several of Scott's songs plus one he co-wrote with Aimee. Will it ever see the light of day? After all this time, it seems somewhat doubtful, sadly...
Despite my carping yesterday, the Hotel Utah show last night was in fact a huge triumph. The club was packed (granted, the Utah is not large, but it was great to look around and see how many people were there) and both Anton & the LF were at the absolute top of their form, and I've seen them both enough times over the years to be able to judge. I may have pulled Scott kicking & screaming out of retirement, but it was plain yesterday that he really enjoys doing that whole rock-star thing. Anton's band was on fire. The LF (featuring Joe Becker on drums and Kenny Kessel on bass) played a few oldies, including Game Theory's "Not Because You Can," and were joined by Anton for a set of songs from What If It Works?
We only sold 8 CDs but this was a hardcore fan crowd and most of them had already mail-ordered it. Thanks to everyone who came, including Bradley, Gina, Steve, Bob, Robert, Gil, Stacey, Matt, Dan, Shannon, Tim, Josie, and a bunch of people I'm undoubtedly forgetting. If you weren't there, you should've been! The guys may do some more shows once Anton returns from his trip to the U.K. later this fall, but last night was one of those times when the stars aligned and everything fell into place, and those don't come around very often.
Tonight's the night
I'm a little depressed this morning because of the lack of local media coverage of the Loud Family & Anton CD release party at the Hotel Utah tonight, despite the fact that I sent out several CDs and press kits well in advance. The Guardian had seemed interested in running a photo, but there was nothing in today's issue. I think I've done a pretty good job of getting the word out to the fans but would have liked some reviews or critic's pick pieces, since that would help make more people aware of the album. As usual, there's just so much going on in the Bay Area that competition for press coverage is fierce. (Big thanks to the Contra Costa Times' Denise Sullivan, who did preview the show in her July 20 column.)
One cool thing to mention: there are six reviews of WIIW? (all five-star!) posted on Amazon.com. Scott said he would send me the lyrics to post on the Loud Family web site when there were 25 reviews up at Amazon, which seems a bit excessive; I mean, there are only 21 reviews of the New Pornographers' Mass Romantic, and they're a far more famous band. But I appreciate the people who have taken the time to share their opinions. I personally rarely buy anything from Amazon but I do enjoy reading other people's reviews.