club cafe

pittsburgh, pa
POSTPONED TO JULY 14 - The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band [Night 1]

Postponed to July 14 - all tickets honored!

Postponed to July 14 - all tickets honored!

POSTPONED TO JULY 15 - The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band [Night 2]

Postponed to July 15 - all tickets honored!

Postponed to July 15 - all tickets honored!

Joseph Huber with Special Guest United Snakes

Joseph Huber hails from the state of Wisconsin, and seems to bring forth the varied voices of whatever it may be that lies dormant within either the fertile soil or the callous concrete of that world. It has been said, “You don’t just like Joseph Huber’s music. You feel it’s something that the rest of the world needs to hear, and how criminal it is that it isn’t spreading far and wide.”

As the singer, songwriter, performer, recorder and producer of all of his own material, Huber has his hands full, but never seems to miss a beat. As one of the founding member of the .357 String Band–a group that would probably fit better in today’s ‘Americana-saturated’ environment than in the early to middle aughts–he’s gradually honed a sound that seems to fill a very real gap within the still-emerging genre. Having progressed, Huber continues moving onward and upward captivating folks with his sincere and well-crafted songs under his own name along with the impeccable musicianship of his fellow touring partners. Whether it’s irresistible, fiddle-driven, dancing tunes or honest, heart-wrenching “songwriter” songs, Huber’s songs and shows spans the spectrum of ‘Roots’ music while preferring not to stay within the boundaries of any strict genre classification.

His lyricism and introspective writing style has received high acclaim from music enthusiasts looking for a more substantive substitute to much of today’s music. Maintaining a solid touring schedule, playing all throughout both the U.S. and all around Europe, Huber continues to gain positive press. Blue Ridge Outdoor writes, “Songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Chris Smither, and John Prine can marvel listeners in the simplest of acoustic settings,…From time to time, I stumble upon a new singer/songwriter whose work warrants comparison to the luminaries on this list. …Huber’s songwriting has me comparing him to my favorites above.” His latest album, ‘Moondog’ (2019), is an impressive 15 song,/74 min of music shifting from rollicking revelry to somber reflection that never fails to lure the listen.

Joseph Huber hails from the state of Wisconsin, and seems to bring forth the varied voices of whatever it may be that lies dormant within either the fertile soil or the callous concrete of that world. It has been said, “You don’t just like Joseph Huber’s music. You feel it’s something that the rest of the world needs to hear, and how criminal it is that it isn’t spreading far and wide.”

As the singer, songwriter, performer, recorder and producer of all of his own material, Huber has his hands full, but never seems to miss a beat. As one of the founding member of the .357 String Band–a group that would probably fit better in today’s ‘Americana-saturated’ environment than in the early to middle aughts–he’s gradually honed a sound that seems to fill a very real gap within the still-emerging genre. Having progressed, Huber continues moving onward and upward captivating folks with his sincere and well-crafted songs under his own name along with the impeccable musicianship of his fellow touring partners. Whether it’s irresistible, fiddle-driven, dancing tunes or honest, heart-wrenching “songwriter” songs, Huber’s songs and shows spans the spectrum of ‘Roots’ music while preferring not to stay within the boundaries of any strict genre classification.

His lyricism and introspective writing style has received high acclaim from music enthusiasts looking for a more substantive substitute to much of today’s music. Maintaining a solid touring schedule, playing all throughout both the U.S. and all around Europe, Huber continues to gain positive press. Blue Ridge Outdoor writes, “Songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Chris Smither, and John Prine can marvel listeners in the simplest of acoustic settings,…From time to time, I stumble upon a new singer/songwriter whose work warrants comparison to the luminaries on this list. …Huber’s songwriting has me comparing him to my favorites above.” His latest album, ‘Moondog’ (2019), is an impressive 15 song,/74 min of music shifting from rollicking revelry to somber reflection that never fails to lure the listen.

Slim Cessna's Auto Club / The BellRays

Slim Cessna's Auto Club is from Denver, Colorado. Bandmembers are Slim Cessna, Munly Munly, Lord Dwight Pentacost, Rebecca Vera, Andrew Warner, and George Cessna. Our records are released by SCACUNINCORPORATED in the USA & Glitterhouse Records in Europe.

There comes a moment in every Slim Cessna’s Auto Club show when you realize you’re seeing something you’ll never see anywhere else. It’s Slim Cessna in a white cowboy hat and beard, the lights haloing his ungainly frame, horn-rimmed glasses flashing through the smoke. He’s trading lyrics and insults with Munly Munly, gaunt and strange, dressed in a shade of black particular to preachers and burnt down barns. Their voices rise and converge in the kind of exquisite harmony usually found in Sacred Harp congregations, and then the band cuts loose, the best live band in the world, and the two men are doing battle, playing out some cathartic war between good and evil on stage. Or trading dance steps. You can’t tell.

I said the best live band in the world, and I ain’t the only one. No Depression and Spin Magazine have said the same. This is a band that’s held its own onstage with everybody from Johnny Cash to the Dresden Dolls. But you listen to the recording of “That Fierce Cow is Common Sense in a Country Dress,” and it’ll take you just about four minutes before you realize you’re listening to the best band in the world, period. It’s Lord Dwight Pentacost leading the lunatic rapture on his Jesus and Mary double-necked guitar; Rebecca Vera playing pedal steel so sublimely that I swear to God you can see the ghost of Ralph Mooney circling the stage; and, holding down the rhythm section like they have with each other since seventh grade, The Peeler on drums and Danny Pants on the doghouse bass, driving the band, making you lose your damn mind.

They’ve been making music for over twenty years, and there is, quite simply, nothing else like it. It’s gospel music, is what I’ve decided. Gospel music for a blasted world. A world straining and bursting in constant pain, but one that can’t help but overspill with joy – even knowing better. And the songs, Jesus. Songs about Colorado Indian hater John Chivington, alien abductions, patricide, a man born without a spine. This is the wild, bloody and weird America of Harry Crews, the only America worth a damn. It’s what Flannery O’Connor was trying to say when she wrote of dark romances and the grotesque. If you’ve got a heart, these songs’ll break it, and if you’ve got any laughter left in you, they’ll beat it out of you until you cry.

I probably can’t improve on what Jello Biafra said about Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, that they’re “the country band that plays the bar at the end of the world.” But I like to think that as long as they’re around, they can still save us from that end. Or at least from what currently passes as country music.

– Benjamin Whitmer, author of Pike and Cry Father, and co-author with Charlie Louvin of Satan is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers

Slim Cessna's Auto Club is from Denver, Colorado. Bandmembers are Slim Cessna, Munly Munly, Lord Dwight Pentacost, Rebecca Vera, Andrew Warner, and George Cessna. Our records are released by SCACUNINCORPORATED in the USA & Glitterhouse Records in Europe.

There comes a moment in every Slim Cessna’s Auto Club show when you realize you’re seeing something you’ll never see anywhere else. It’s Slim Cessna in a white cowboy hat and beard, the lights haloing his ungainly frame, horn-rimmed glasses flashing through the smoke. He’s trading lyrics and insults with Munly Munly, gaunt and strange, dressed in a shade of black particular to preachers and burnt down barns. Their voices rise and converge in the kind of exquisite harmony usually found in Sacred Harp congregations, and then the band cuts loose, the best live band in the world, and the two men are doing battle, playing out some cathartic war between good and evil on stage. Or trading dance steps. You can’t tell.

I said the best live band in the world, and I ain’t the only one. No Depression and Spin Magazine have said the same. This is a band that’s held its own onstage with everybody from Johnny Cash to the Dresden Dolls. But you listen to the recording of “That Fierce Cow is Common Sense in a Country Dress,” and it’ll take you just about four minutes before you realize you’re listening to the best band in the world, period. It’s Lord Dwight Pentacost leading the lunatic rapture on his Jesus and Mary double-necked guitar; Rebecca Vera playing pedal steel so sublimely that I swear to God you can see the ghost of Ralph Mooney circling the stage; and, holding down the rhythm section like they have with each other since seventh grade, The Peeler on drums and Danny Pants on the doghouse bass, driving the band, making you lose your damn mind.

They’ve been making music for over twenty years, and there is, quite simply, nothing else like it. It’s gospel music, is what I’ve decided. Gospel music for a blasted world. A world straining and bursting in constant pain, but one that can’t help but overspill with joy – even knowing better. And the songs, Jesus. Songs about Colorado Indian hater John Chivington, alien abductions, patricide, a man born without a spine. This is the wild, bloody and weird America of Harry Crews, the only America worth a damn. It’s what Flannery O’Connor was trying to say when she wrote of dark romances and the grotesque. If you’ve got a heart, these songs’ll break it, and if you’ve got any laughter left in you, they’ll beat it out of you until you cry.

I probably can’t improve on what Jello Biafra said about Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, that they’re “the country band that plays the bar at the end of the world.” But I like to think that as long as they’re around, they can still save us from that end. Or at least from what currently passes as country music.

– Benjamin Whitmer, author of Pike and Cry Father, and co-author with Charlie Louvin of Satan is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers

Moon Tooth

From Long Island, New York, Moon Tooth set the bar high with their 2016 debut full-length, Chromaparagon – a fusion of rock, metal, and blues, that bursted with color. Drawing comparisons to Mastodon, Gojira, and Living Colour, Chromaparagon's aggressive, progressive sound possessed a soulfulness and swing that set it apart from the pack. Premier Guitar described the album with these words: “Unbridled turbulence. Dexterous metal riffing. Soulful vocals over layers of melodies and shifting rhythms... An epic journey through countless sonic realms."

In the wake of that fiery debut, the next three years saw Moon Tooth amass over 1 million Spotify streams, and play their 400th show by way of tours with Intronaut, Fit For An Autopsy, Astronoid, and more.

2019: the band now gears up for its next chapter. With pre-production handled by the dream team of Machine (King Crimson, Every Time I Die) and Lamb of God's Mark Morton, and production by Moon Tooth drummer Ray Marté, sophomore album Crux harnesses Moon Tooth's formidable musicianship into its strongest material to date.

With chops as lethal as those wielded by Moon Tooth's four members – Marté, guitarist Nick Lee, bassist Vincent Romanelli, and vocalist John Carbone – many a band would fall prey to the lure of the jazz odyssey, but Moon Tooth proves its greatness by channeling its skills into concise, crankable anthems. The musical ground covered within just 3-5 minutes on Crux is astonishing, yet the band never loses sight of the big picture. The tech never overshadows the songcraft; Moon Tooth shred like assassins, but only in service of the songs. The result: Crux is an album that belongs equally to the passerby on the street and the musician practicing scales.

Moon Tooth's unmistakable vibe flourishes on Crux: soaring vocals, fleet-fingered axe-slaying, and muscular rhythms (and polyrhythms) combine into glorious, hard-rocking hymns. Crux shows a deep respect for classic rock and heavy metal – Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Rush, and Judas Priest are starting points from which the band zooms into outer space, leaving a trail of vivid, heavy, modern rock. Marté's production, boosted by Machine's and Morton's input, puts a world-class shine on the sound, resulting in a feast of metallic crunch and ear-melting hooks.

Crux delivers on all of Moon Tooth's early promise and will send this band hurtling forward along its path. Frontman John Carbone's lyrics address this very situation – reaching the crossroads of a normal life and an artist's life, and choosing to commit to the latter. He explains: "This album is about not giving up. It's about the furious hope that brings fighters back to their feet again and again. Having answered the call to adventure, having grappled with what will surely be only the first set of trials, having sacrificed and lost so much, 'Crux' finds the band at a tipping point. There is nothing left but for the old life to die and the new, true life to begin."

Since the release of 'Crux' Moon Tooth has hit the road with bands such as Animals As Leaders, The Contortionist, Mark Morton (Lamb of God), Light The Torch, and they show no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

From Long Island, New York, Moon Tooth set the bar high with their 2016 debut full-length, Chromaparagon – a fusion of rock, metal, and blues, that bursted with color. Drawing comparisons to Mastodon, Gojira, and Living Colour, Chromaparagon's aggressive, progressive sound possessed a soulfulness and swing that set it apart from the pack. Premier Guitar described the album with these words: “Unbridled turbulence. Dexterous metal riffing. Soulful vocals over layers of melodies and shifting rhythms... An epic journey through countless sonic realms."

In the wake of that fiery debut, the next three years saw Moon Tooth amass over 1 million Spotify streams, and play their 400th show by way of tours with Intronaut, Fit For An Autopsy, Astronoid, and more.

2019: the band now gears up for its next chapter. With pre-production handled by the dream team of Machine (King Crimson, Every Time I Die) and Lamb of God's Mark Morton, and production by Moon Tooth drummer Ray Marté, sophomore album Crux harnesses Moon Tooth's formidable musicianship into its strongest material to date.

With chops as lethal as those wielded by Moon Tooth's four members – Marté, guitarist Nick Lee, bassist Vincent Romanelli, and vocalist John Carbone – many a band would fall prey to the lure of the jazz odyssey, but Moon Tooth proves its greatness by channeling its skills into concise, crankable anthems. The musical ground covered within just 3-5 minutes on Crux is astonishing, yet the band never loses sight of the big picture. The tech never overshadows the songcraft; Moon Tooth shred like assassins, but only in service of the songs. The result: Crux is an album that belongs equally to the passerby on the street and the musician practicing scales.

Moon Tooth's unmistakable vibe flourishes on Crux: soaring vocals, fleet-fingered axe-slaying, and muscular rhythms (and polyrhythms) combine into glorious, hard-rocking hymns. Crux shows a deep respect for classic rock and heavy metal – Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Rush, and Judas Priest are starting points from which the band zooms into outer space, leaving a trail of vivid, heavy, modern rock. Marté's production, boosted by Machine's and Morton's input, puts a world-class shine on the sound, resulting in a feast of metallic crunch and ear-melting hooks.

Crux delivers on all of Moon Tooth's early promise and will send this band hurtling forward along its path. Frontman John Carbone's lyrics address this very situation – reaching the crossroads of a normal life and an artist's life, and choosing to commit to the latter. He explains: "This album is about not giving up. It's about the furious hope that brings fighters back to their feet again and again. Having answered the call to adventure, having grappled with what will surely be only the first set of trials, having sacrificed and lost so much, 'Crux' finds the band at a tipping point. There is nothing left but for the old life to die and the new, true life to begin."

Since the release of 'Crux' Moon Tooth has hit the road with bands such as Animals As Leaders, The Contortionist, Mark Morton (Lamb of God), Light The Torch, and they show no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Good Brother Earl / Grievous Angels

Pittsburgh Americana Showcase Featuring Good Brother Earl & Grievous Angels

Good Brother Earl
Good Brother Earl formed in 1998 with Jeff Schmutz and bassist-songwriter Dan Paolucci. They eventually added three players to complete the band in 2001. Guitarist Schmutz and bassist Dan Paolucci are rockers, while Skip Sanders (keyboards) and Paul Fitzsimmons (guitars) have jazz backgrounds.

Grievous Angels
Pittsburgh's Grievous Angels bring a unique blend of American roots, rock and blue-eyed soul. Heart-felt originals are blended with timeless classics by Gram Parsons, Ryan Adams, Jeff Tweedy, Jay Farrar, the Louvin Brothers and other seminal artists. We've played Pittsburgh's best known stages for nearly a decade, including The Thunderbird Cafe, Club Cafe, Moondog's--and your next private party!

Pittsburgh Americana Showcase Featuring Good Brother Earl & Grievous Angels

Good Brother Earl
Good Brother Earl formed in 1998 with Jeff Schmutz and bassist-songwriter Dan Paolucci. They eventually added three players to complete the band in 2001. Guitarist Schmutz and bassist Dan Paolucci are rockers, while Skip Sanders (keyboards) and Paul Fitzsimmons (guitars) have jazz backgrounds.

Grievous Angels
Pittsburgh's Grievous Angels bring a unique blend of American roots, rock and blue-eyed soul. Heart-felt originals are blended with timeless classics by Gram Parsons, Ryan Adams, Jeff Tweedy, Jay Farrar, the Louvin Brothers and other seminal artists. We've played Pittsburgh's best known stages for nearly a decade, including The Thunderbird Cafe, Club Cafe, Moondog's--and your next private party!

Ivan & Alyosha - Presented by Opus One & PromoWest North Shore

Ivan & Alyosha first sparked attention with their 2013 debut album All The Times We Had, followed by 2015’s It’s All Just Pretend. Paste called their music “luscious, enjoyable folk-pop” and NPR Music praised their “Beatles-esque pop harmonies and sweet melodies,” while Rolling Stone raved about their “smooth, soaring guitar pop” and American Songwriter said the band “achieve a polished west coast soul-folk sound that draws on the poppier sensibilities of McCartney songwriting.” The band toured extensively around those releases, supporting such acts as Brandi Carlile, The Head & The Heart, Delta Spirit, and more.

As their schedules maxed out, they found less time for creativity and realized a change was needed. So, the fivesome -- brothers Tim and Pete Wilson, Ryan Carbary, Tim Kim, and Cole Mauro – decided to take a slight break from the day-to-day demands of Ivan & Alyosha to regroup creatively and also spend time with their young families. With that time and freedom came perspective and inspiration, and during a gathering at Mauro’s house last year, drinking beer around a fire pit and swapping these new song ideas, they came to realize two things: one, they felt a new urge to create together; and two, that they didn’t have to go about it all in the same old ways.

Ivan & Alyosha first sparked attention with their 2013 debut album All The Times We Had, followed by 2015’s It’s All Just Pretend. Paste called their music “luscious, enjoyable folk-pop” and NPR Music praised their “Beatles-esque pop harmonies and sweet melodies,” while Rolling Stone raved about their “smooth, soaring guitar pop” and American Songwriter said the band “achieve a polished west coast soul-folk sound that draws on the poppier sensibilities of McCartney songwriting.” The band toured extensively around those releases, supporting such acts as Brandi Carlile, The Head & The Heart, Delta Spirit, and more.

As their schedules maxed out, they found less time for creativity and realized a change was needed. So, the fivesome -- brothers Tim and Pete Wilson, Ryan Carbary, Tim Kim, and Cole Mauro – decided to take a slight break from the day-to-day demands of Ivan & Alyosha to regroup creatively and also spend time with their young families. With that time and freedom came perspective and inspiration, and during a gathering at Mauro’s house last year, drinking beer around a fire pit and swapping these new song ideas, they came to realize two things: one, they felt a new urge to create together; and two, that they didn’t have to go about it all in the same old ways.

(Rescheduled from March 21) SOLD OUT - Rhett Miller Acoustic

This show has been rescheduled from March 21 - All tickets honored

"This has been a hell of a year," Rhett Miller says. "I turned 48 in September and I'm still surprising myself."
 
After more than two decades as founding member of the venerable Old 97's and acclaimed singer-songwriter in his own right, Rhett Miller has crafted a trio of new projects that see him pushing his creative energies in hitherto untraveled directions. Among them are two utterly unique new albums - one solo, the other as part of Old 97's - as well as his first ever book, a collection of subversive kids' poems.
 
THE MESSENGER, Miller's eighth solo album, is perhaps his most unflinchingly personal collection of songs to date. Recorded over five spring days at The Isokon in Woodstock, NY with producer/musician Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby, Benjamin Booker), THE MESSENGER sees Miller playing it faster and looser than perhaps any other time in his quarter century career, instilling songs like the first single, "Total Disaster," with a groovy limberness that belies the reflective darkness within. Backed by a white hot backing combo comprised of Cohen (Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Pedal Steel Guitar, Keys), Brian Betancourt (Bass), and Ray Rizzo (Drums), Miller worked quickly and with purpose, fast-tracking four or five "keepers" each day.
 
"I wanted this record to be less safe," he says. "I wanted to put myself in the hands of a producer who was going to do things that I didn't expect; I wanted to perform with people I didn't know and be surprised by what they came up with. And all of that really came to pass. 

"That's what you're getting with this record. You're getting a locked-in rhythm section with a crazy, psychedelic guitar maestro playing along with me as I dig deep into these songs about depression and insecurity and modern life and somehow wanting to live despite all of it," Miller chuckles. 
 
While that might sound somewhat flip, Miller is in some ways more serious than ever before. THE MESSENGER sees the veteran songsmith diving deep into his own youthful encounters with suicide and depression, placing "a long distance phone call to myself as a 14-year-old" on surprisingly buoyant new songs like "Permanent Damage" and "I Used To Write In Notebooks."
 
"For a lot of years I tried to keep self-reference out of my work," he says, "and I believe there's a lot to be said for that. There's enough about what I do that's masturbatory without me reading from my diary. But at a certain point, when you want to dig into personal issues and maybe explore things from your own past, you have to let yourself go there."

Miller hadn't publicly addressed his adolescent suicide attempt until a 2008 interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air. "She asked me about my suicide attempt and I found myself telling her the story. I was surprised at how people responded. I ended up doing a little work on behalf of the National Suicide Prevention Network and that kind of blossomed to where I've made a point of recognizing my own history and doing whatever I can to try and bring it out of the shadows and make it something people are okay talking about. But even then, I'd never really recognized it in my own work."

And while THE MESSENGER addresses this darkness head-on many times, the album also visits the brighter corners. Songs like "You Were A Stranger" and "Wheels" speak to the joy that comes with having survived. Towards the end of "Wheels," when Miller sings "I'm broken, we're all broken, we just keep on trying," it's clearly a rallying cry rather than a lament.

After delving inward to create THE MESSENGER, Miller rejoined his mates in the Old 97's - Murry Hammond (Bass, Vocals), Ken Bethea (Electric Guitar), and Philip Peeples (Drums & Percussion) - to make a red-and-green gift for the world. Produced, mixed & engineered by John Pedigo in the band's home state of Texas, LOVE THE HOLIDAYS presents a stocking stuffed with rockin' new Yuletide favorites, capped off inevitably by the Old 97's take on the New Year's Eve staple, "Auld Lang Syne." Among the album's many highlights are the title track, co-written with Kevin Russell (The Gourds, Shinyribs), "Gotta Love Being A Kid (Merry Christmas)" and "Snow Angels," both co-written with acclaimed prose writer Ben Greenman, and the continuing saga of everyone's favorite reindeer, "Rudolph Is Blue," co-written by Miller and Dan Bern.
 
"I've thought about making a Christmas record for years and years," Miller says. "My goal was to make a record that could stand up alongside the classics, a record that would offer some new songs to this frustratingly finite list of holiday tunes that we all have to listen to on a loop between Halloween and New Year's Day.  We all get sick of the old ones, so why not try and come up with some new options for people to listen to when they're wrapping their gifts and snuggling in front of the fire?"
 
Speaking of gifts, Miller has teamed with Caldecott Medalist and bestselling artist Dan Santat for NO MORE POEMS!, a hilarious collection of irreverent poems for modern families, to be published March 5th, 2019 by Little/Brown Books For Young Readers. Written in the tradition of Shel Silverstein and Edward Gorey, Miller's poems bring a fresh new twist to the classic dilemmas of childhood as well as a perceptive eye to the foibles of modern family life. Full of clever wordplay and bright visual gags - with toilet humor to spare - these clever verses will have the whole family cackling.
 
"I was missing my kids so bad while out on tour," Miller says. "So I had to come up with a trick to get them to spend time on the phone with me. The trick was, ‘Hey, I wrote a poem, and I need you kids to critique it for me.' I gave them carte blanche to criticize me, to tell me that what I did was stupid. They let me have it, which was so great. It kept them on the phone way longer than if it was just me moping about how lonely I was in Peoria, Illinois or whatever."

Miller - who left Sarah Lawrence with a full scholarship for creative writing to pursue a career in music - has long worked a side game as a writer, publishing a number of essays, short stories, and criticism over the past 20 years. Though NO MORE POEMS! is his first proper book to be published, he firmly avows it will not be his last.
 
"When I dropped out I thought, I'll do rock ‘n' roll when I'm young and then when I'm middle aged, I can segue into writing with decades of experience under my belt," he says. "So now, that plan is coming to fruition. If I have my druthers, I'm going to keep writing books of different stripes for years and years to come. "
 
From THE MESSENGER to LOVE THE HOLIDAYS to NO MORE POEMS!, Miller's current crop of original output is testament to those aforementioned decades of experience, each distinct project marked by his ever-increasing skill set and multi-faceted approach to art and artistry. Having long ago committed himself to the artist's life, he has kept his nose to the grindstone, determined each and every day to create something of quality, meaning, and purpose.
 
"I've always believed that making art gives meaning to life," says Rhett Miller. "So far it's worked out pretty well."

This show has been rescheduled from March 21 - All tickets honored

"This has been a hell of a year," Rhett Miller says. "I turned 48 in September and I'm still surprising myself."
 
After more than two decades as founding member of the venerable Old 97's and acclaimed singer-songwriter in his own right, Rhett Miller has crafted a trio of new projects that see him pushing his creative energies in hitherto untraveled directions. Among them are two utterly unique new albums - one solo, the other as part of Old 97's - as well as his first ever book, a collection of subversive kids' poems.
 
THE MESSENGER, Miller's eighth solo album, is perhaps his most unflinchingly personal collection of songs to date. Recorded over five spring days at The Isokon in Woodstock, NY with producer/musician Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby, Benjamin Booker), THE MESSENGER sees Miller playing it faster and looser than perhaps any other time in his quarter century career, instilling songs like the first single, "Total Disaster," with a groovy limberness that belies the reflective darkness within. Backed by a white hot backing combo comprised of Cohen (Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Pedal Steel Guitar, Keys), Brian Betancourt (Bass), and Ray Rizzo (Drums), Miller worked quickly and with purpose, fast-tracking four or five "keepers" each day.
 
"I wanted this record to be less safe," he says. "I wanted to put myself in the hands of a producer who was going to do things that I didn't expect; I wanted to perform with people I didn't know and be surprised by what they came up with. And all of that really came to pass. 

"That's what you're getting with this record. You're getting a locked-in rhythm section with a crazy, psychedelic guitar maestro playing along with me as I dig deep into these songs about depression and insecurity and modern life and somehow wanting to live despite all of it," Miller chuckles. 
 
While that might sound somewhat flip, Miller is in some ways more serious than ever before. THE MESSENGER sees the veteran songsmith diving deep into his own youthful encounters with suicide and depression, placing "a long distance phone call to myself as a 14-year-old" on surprisingly buoyant new songs like "Permanent Damage" and "I Used To Write In Notebooks."
 
"For a lot of years I tried to keep self-reference out of my work," he says, "and I believe there's a lot to be said for that. There's enough about what I do that's masturbatory without me reading from my diary. But at a certain point, when you want to dig into personal issues and maybe explore things from your own past, you have to let yourself go there."

Miller hadn't publicly addressed his adolescent suicide attempt until a 2008 interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air. "She asked me about my suicide attempt and I found myself telling her the story. I was surprised at how people responded. I ended up doing a little work on behalf of the National Suicide Prevention Network and that kind of blossomed to where I've made a point of recognizing my own history and doing whatever I can to try and bring it out of the shadows and make it something people are okay talking about. But even then, I'd never really recognized it in my own work."

And while THE MESSENGER addresses this darkness head-on many times, the album also visits the brighter corners. Songs like "You Were A Stranger" and "Wheels" speak to the joy that comes with having survived. Towards the end of "Wheels," when Miller sings "I'm broken, we're all broken, we just keep on trying," it's clearly a rallying cry rather than a lament.

After delving inward to create THE MESSENGER, Miller rejoined his mates in the Old 97's - Murry Hammond (Bass, Vocals), Ken Bethea (Electric Guitar), and Philip Peeples (Drums & Percussion) - to make a red-and-green gift for the world. Produced, mixed & engineered by John Pedigo in the band's home state of Texas, LOVE THE HOLIDAYS presents a stocking stuffed with rockin' new Yuletide favorites, capped off inevitably by the Old 97's take on the New Year's Eve staple, "Auld Lang Syne." Among the album's many highlights are the title track, co-written with Kevin Russell (The Gourds, Shinyribs), "Gotta Love Being A Kid (Merry Christmas)" and "Snow Angels," both co-written with acclaimed prose writer Ben Greenman, and the continuing saga of everyone's favorite reindeer, "Rudolph Is Blue," co-written by Miller and Dan Bern.
 
"I've thought about making a Christmas record for years and years," Miller says. "My goal was to make a record that could stand up alongside the classics, a record that would offer some new songs to this frustratingly finite list of holiday tunes that we all have to listen to on a loop between Halloween and New Year's Day.  We all get sick of the old ones, so why not try and come up with some new options for people to listen to when they're wrapping their gifts and snuggling in front of the fire?"
 
Speaking of gifts, Miller has teamed with Caldecott Medalist and bestselling artist Dan Santat for NO MORE POEMS!, a hilarious collection of irreverent poems for modern families, to be published March 5th, 2019 by Little/Brown Books For Young Readers. Written in the tradition of Shel Silverstein and Edward Gorey, Miller's poems bring a fresh new twist to the classic dilemmas of childhood as well as a perceptive eye to the foibles of modern family life. Full of clever wordplay and bright visual gags - with toilet humor to spare - these clever verses will have the whole family cackling.
 
"I was missing my kids so bad while out on tour," Miller says. "So I had to come up with a trick to get them to spend time on the phone with me. The trick was, ‘Hey, I wrote a poem, and I need you kids to critique it for me.' I gave them carte blanche to criticize me, to tell me that what I did was stupid. They let me have it, which was so great. It kept them on the phone way longer than if it was just me moping about how lonely I was in Peoria, Illinois or whatever."

Miller - who left Sarah Lawrence with a full scholarship for creative writing to pursue a career in music - has long worked a side game as a writer, publishing a number of essays, short stories, and criticism over the past 20 years. Though NO MORE POEMS! is his first proper book to be published, he firmly avows it will not be his last.
 
"When I dropped out I thought, I'll do rock ‘n' roll when I'm young and then when I'm middle aged, I can segue into writing with decades of experience under my belt," he says. "So now, that plan is coming to fruition. If I have my druthers, I'm going to keep writing books of different stripes for years and years to come. "
 
From THE MESSENGER to LOVE THE HOLIDAYS to NO MORE POEMS!, Miller's current crop of original output is testament to those aforementioned decades of experience, each distinct project marked by his ever-increasing skill set and multi-faceted approach to art and artistry. Having long ago committed himself to the artist's life, he has kept his nose to the grindstone, determined each and every day to create something of quality, meaning, and purpose.
 
"I've always believed that making art gives meaning to life," says Rhett Miller. "So far it's worked out pretty well."

(Early Show) An Evening With Jill Sobule - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

Jill Sobule - Nostalgia Kills
“Nostalgia can be wonderful and amazing. It’s OK to look back. But then you gotta get the fuck
out of there.” So says singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, explaining the theme of her new album,
Nostalgia Kills.
On Nostalgia Kills (out September 14 on Jill’s own Pinko Records), the woman hailed by The
New York Times for making “grown-up music for an adolescent age” turns her warm wit and
poet’s eye on herself more than ever before, revisiting moments from throughout her life that
made her into the person she is today. It’s an especially poignant look back at childhood —
“exorcising some junior high school demons,” as she puts it.
Looking back is a new experience for Jill Sobule. Ever since she first caught mainstream
attention with her 1995 song “I Kissed a Girl” — the first song about same-sex romance ever to
crack the Billboard Top 20 (and no relation to the later Katy Perry tune) — she’s always pushed
forward, exploring new sounds and subject matter with each passing album and refusing to be
pigeonholed by her early hits (which also include the ‘90s alt-rock anthem “Supermodel,”
featured in an iconic scene in the film Clueless).
Along the way, Jill has shared stages with the likes of Billy Bragg, Cyndi Lauper and Warren
Zevon, written music for TV and theater, and been a pioneer in the art of crowdfunding, raising
so much money for her 2009 album California Years that a then-unknown startup called
Kickstarter came to her for advice. She’s also been active in numerous social and political
causes, performing at prisons as part of Wayne Kramer’s Jail Guitar Doors project, playing
dates with Lady Parts Justice’s “Vagical Mystery Tour,” and curating Monster Protest Jams Vol.
1, featuring protest songs by Tom Morello, Billy Bragg, Boots Riley, Amanda Palmer, Jackson
Browne and many other great artists — including Jill’s own “When They Say We Want Our
America Back, What the F#@k Do They Mean?”, which traces the history of anti-immigrant
sentiment in America.
For Nostalgia Kills, Jill worked with her good friend, Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee, to cull
the album’s 11 songs from a collection of over 100, representing nearly a decade’s worth of
material accumulated since the release of California Years. In turning those songs into an
album, she received a little extra motivation from an unlikely source.
“I was at an industry party,” she recalls. “And I heard this total douche saying, you know, once
someone reaches the age of 40, they can’t write a good song. And I went up to him and I was
like, ‘You don’t know me, but you’re an idiot.’”
Making it her mission to prove her new nemesis wrong, Jill took the songs into Lee’s home
studio in Los Angeles with a supporting cast of players that included John Doe (X), Wayne
Kramer (The MC5), Petra Haden (That Dog), Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (Jellyfish), and Richard
Barone (The Bongos). “This was done with a lot of friends,” she says. “It was very organic.”
Many of the final mixes even contain elements of the original demos, recorded with various
apps on Jill’s iPad.
Right from the jump, Nostalgia Kills proves that this songwriter, despite being a few years north
of 40, is still at the peak of her powers. How many artists of any age can write a song like “I
Don’t Wanna Wake Up,” an Old Testament head trip inspired by a bad breakup, the death of a
parent, and microdosing mushrooms? Let alone have the nerve to make it their album’s opening
track?

From there, Nostalgia Kills explores its titular theme through a collection of songs that ponder
the past without ever lapsing into easy sentimentality. “I Put My Headphones On,” as catchy as
anything in Jill’s catalog, captures the cozy feeling of tuning out the outside world with a favorite
record. “Almost Great” is a ukulele-laced ode to youthful brushes with success and adult battles
with procrastination. “Forbidden Thoughts of Youth” is a beautifully rendered portrait of
adolescent unrequited love, as Jill looks back at her first gay crush (“an incredible combination
of Marcia Brady and future meth-smoking biker chick”).
“Headphones” and “Forbidden Thoughts” will be part of #Fuck7thGrade, a one-woman show
about “the worst year of my life,” and just the latest of Jill’s many forays into theater. Nostalgia
Kills features new versions of several of Jill’s best songs for the stage: “There’s Nothing I Can
Do” is a defiant breakup anthem from the off-off-Broadway musical Prozak and the Platypus,
sung from the perspective of a rebellious 17-year-old girl. “25 Cents” is from Times Square, a
new musical based on the 1980 cult film of the same name — and Jill’s own memories of
visiting New York City as a teenager, back when the city was still “scary and fascinating and full
of junkies.” And the gorgeous ballad “Tomorrow Is Breaking My Heart” is one of several original
songs Jill wrote for a new adaptation of Yentl, Isaac Bashevis Singer’s tale of gender-bending
romance later made famous by Barbra Streisand’s film adaptation.
There are two versions of “Tomorrow Is Breaking” on Nostalgia Kills — a mournful duet with
John Doe, and a special bonus track version featuring an amateur musician named Nicholas
Ford, who made a pledge to the Nostalgia Kills Kickstarter campaign in which the prize was to
sing a duet with Jill. “I decided to do it in a different style with a piano and he kicked ass,” she
says proudly of Nicholas’ crooning accompaniment.
Nostalgia Kills’ bonus tracks also include “The Donor Song,” on which Jill gives shout-outs to
her Kickstarter backers (including Avengers director and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss
Whedon, whom Jill calls “my personal lord and savior” because he donated at the highest level),
as well as lovely covers of The Stairsteps’ soul classic “O-o-h Child” and “Don’t Let Us Get
Sick,” a heartbreakingly beautiful, late-career ballad by Jill’s friend and mentor, Warren Zevon,
with whom she tour shortly before his death in 2003. “He used to come out during my set to sing
‘I Kissed a Girl’ with me,” Jill remembers. “He would always wink at me when we would sing
‘They can have their diamonds and we’ll have are pearls’ to let me know he got the clitoral
reference.”
For all its graceful, funny and heartbreaking explorations of awkward youth and grown-up
regrets, Nostalgia Kills is as of-the-moment as anything in Jill Sobule’s catalog. Through her
own experiences, she explores issues our society still collectively struggles with (LGBTQ rights,
teen mental health, our unhealthy obsession with staying forever young) and gently skewers our
tendency to dwell on the past at the expense of addressing the present. As she sings on the title
track: “We look at ourselves in a long row of mirrors/We get smaller and smaller with each
passing year/We have to keep moving or die.”

Jill Sobule - Nostalgia Kills
“Nostalgia can be wonderful and amazing. It’s OK to look back. But then you gotta get the fuck
out of there.” So says singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, explaining the theme of her new album,
Nostalgia Kills.
On Nostalgia Kills (out September 14 on Jill’s own Pinko Records), the woman hailed by The
New York Times for making “grown-up music for an adolescent age” turns her warm wit and
poet’s eye on herself more than ever before, revisiting moments from throughout her life that
made her into the person she is today. It’s an especially poignant look back at childhood —
“exorcising some junior high school demons,” as she puts it.
Looking back is a new experience for Jill Sobule. Ever since she first caught mainstream
attention with her 1995 song “I Kissed a Girl” — the first song about same-sex romance ever to
crack the Billboard Top 20 (and no relation to the later Katy Perry tune) — she’s always pushed
forward, exploring new sounds and subject matter with each passing album and refusing to be
pigeonholed by her early hits (which also include the ‘90s alt-rock anthem “Supermodel,”
featured in an iconic scene in the film Clueless).
Along the way, Jill has shared stages with the likes of Billy Bragg, Cyndi Lauper and Warren
Zevon, written music for TV and theater, and been a pioneer in the art of crowdfunding, raising
so much money for her 2009 album California Years that a then-unknown startup called
Kickstarter came to her for advice. She’s also been active in numerous social and political
causes, performing at prisons as part of Wayne Kramer’s Jail Guitar Doors project, playing
dates with Lady Parts Justice’s “Vagical Mystery Tour,” and curating Monster Protest Jams Vol.
1, featuring protest songs by Tom Morello, Billy Bragg, Boots Riley, Amanda Palmer, Jackson
Browne and many other great artists — including Jill’s own “When They Say We Want Our
America Back, What the F#@k Do They Mean?”, which traces the history of anti-immigrant
sentiment in America.
For Nostalgia Kills, Jill worked with her good friend, Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee, to cull
the album’s 11 songs from a collection of over 100, representing nearly a decade’s worth of
material accumulated since the release of California Years. In turning those songs into an
album, she received a little extra motivation from an unlikely source.
“I was at an industry party,” she recalls. “And I heard this total douche saying, you know, once
someone reaches the age of 40, they can’t write a good song. And I went up to him and I was
like, ‘You don’t know me, but you’re an idiot.’”
Making it her mission to prove her new nemesis wrong, Jill took the songs into Lee’s home
studio in Los Angeles with a supporting cast of players that included John Doe (X), Wayne
Kramer (The MC5), Petra Haden (That Dog), Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (Jellyfish), and Richard
Barone (The Bongos). “This was done with a lot of friends,” she says. “It was very organic.”
Many of the final mixes even contain elements of the original demos, recorded with various
apps on Jill’s iPad.
Right from the jump, Nostalgia Kills proves that this songwriter, despite being a few years north
of 40, is still at the peak of her powers. How many artists of any age can write a song like “I
Don’t Wanna Wake Up,” an Old Testament head trip inspired by a bad breakup, the death of a
parent, and microdosing mushrooms? Let alone have the nerve to make it their album’s opening
track?

From there, Nostalgia Kills explores its titular theme through a collection of songs that ponder
the past without ever lapsing into easy sentimentality. “I Put My Headphones On,” as catchy as
anything in Jill’s catalog, captures the cozy feeling of tuning out the outside world with a favorite
record. “Almost Great” is a ukulele-laced ode to youthful brushes with success and adult battles
with procrastination. “Forbidden Thoughts of Youth” is a beautifully rendered portrait of
adolescent unrequited love, as Jill looks back at her first gay crush (“an incredible combination
of Marcia Brady and future meth-smoking biker chick”).
“Headphones” and “Forbidden Thoughts” will be part of #Fuck7thGrade, a one-woman show
about “the worst year of my life,” and just the latest of Jill’s many forays into theater. Nostalgia
Kills features new versions of several of Jill’s best songs for the stage: “There’s Nothing I Can
Do” is a defiant breakup anthem from the off-off-Broadway musical Prozak and the Platypus,
sung from the perspective of a rebellious 17-year-old girl. “25 Cents” is from Times Square, a
new musical based on the 1980 cult film of the same name — and Jill’s own memories of
visiting New York City as a teenager, back when the city was still “scary and fascinating and full
of junkies.” And the gorgeous ballad “Tomorrow Is Breaking My Heart” is one of several original
songs Jill wrote for a new adaptation of Yentl, Isaac Bashevis Singer’s tale of gender-bending
romance later made famous by Barbra Streisand’s film adaptation.
There are two versions of “Tomorrow Is Breaking” on Nostalgia Kills — a mournful duet with
John Doe, and a special bonus track version featuring an amateur musician named Nicholas
Ford, who made a pledge to the Nostalgia Kills Kickstarter campaign in which the prize was to
sing a duet with Jill. “I decided to do it in a different style with a piano and he kicked ass,” she
says proudly of Nicholas’ crooning accompaniment.
Nostalgia Kills’ bonus tracks also include “The Donor Song,” on which Jill gives shout-outs to
her Kickstarter backers (including Avengers director and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss
Whedon, whom Jill calls “my personal lord and savior” because he donated at the highest level),
as well as lovely covers of The Stairsteps’ soul classic “O-o-h Child” and “Don’t Let Us Get
Sick,” a heartbreakingly beautiful, late-career ballad by Jill’s friend and mentor, Warren Zevon,
with whom she tour shortly before his death in 2003. “He used to come out during my set to sing
‘I Kissed a Girl’ with me,” Jill remembers. “He would always wink at me when we would sing
‘They can have their diamonds and we’ll have are pearls’ to let me know he got the clitoral
reference.”
For all its graceful, funny and heartbreaking explorations of awkward youth and grown-up
regrets, Nostalgia Kills is as of-the-moment as anything in Jill Sobule’s catalog. Through her
own experiences, she explores issues our society still collectively struggles with (LGBTQ rights,
teen mental health, our unhealthy obsession with staying forever young) and gently skewers our
tendency to dwell on the past at the expense of addressing the present. As she sings on the title
track: “We look at ourselves in a long row of mirrors/We get smaller and smaller with each
passing year/We have to keep moving or die.”

@clubcafelive

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