Truth in titling? Just maybe!
By Fred Mills
This week the hands-down musical fave at the BLURT office (in conjunction with our sister business, indie store Schoolkids Records) has been erstwhile R.E.M. axeman Peter Buck’s new solo album I Am Back To Blow Your Mind Once Again. Its predecessor, 2012’s Peter Buck – both are released, incidentally, by Mississippi Records – received all sorts of critical and rekkird geek kudos, among them this bon mot from our reviewer:
“Weird, raw and beautiful all at once, swampy Crypt-tastic jams like “It’s Alright”, “Give Me Back My Wig” and “Hard Old World” echo the spirit of a pre-Fab Peter sitting behind the counter at the old Athens, GA mainstay Wuxtry Records fixing to increase his Cramps sales by playing the Gravest Hits EP over the sound system whilst discovering the joys of Loaded-era Velvet Underground and Nancy & Lee during the dead hours from the essence of such lighter fare as “Nothing Matters” and “Some Kind of Velvet Sunday Morning.””
For this new, also vinyl-only release, Buck keeps exactly that sort of mojo working, deploying pals Scott McCaughey, Kurt Bloch and Bill Rieflin alongside his Nuggets-a-fied sonic sensibilities and his Howlin’ Wolf-meets-Billy Gibbons vocal stylings. Included is his terrific Planet Of The Apes 45; read about it here. Watch this space for a full review of the new album next week.
Meanwhile, Buck posted the following salvo to the R.E.M. website recently, outlining his thoughts on the album along with some deets on a brief upcoming tour as opening act for Alejandro Escovedo. See ya in the clubs, kids.
“Hey everybody, this is Peter. I am back in Mexico gearing up for the 3rd annual Todos Santos Music Festival. By gearing up I mean that I am drinking tequila at 3am and listening to Bo Diddley. What a mighty, mighty man he was, ever changing always the same. But that has nothing to do with this screed. I am here to talk about my second solo record.
“The record is finished and will be available any day now. It is called “I Am Back To Blow Your Mind Once Again.” No false modesty, maybe no modesty at all, I once saw an orangutan try to break into a box of live lobsters on Hollywood Blvd. That blew my mind. I am hoping my album does the same for yours. If you can’t find it at your local small retailer the best way to obtain it is on the web at www.littleaxerecords.com. They will be taking orders soon and the record should be available to ship by the end of the month. This being indie world all dates are approximate.
“The last record I put out I gave the working phone number of the record company as a contact point. I got a panicked phone call at 12:30pm the next day from Eric who owns and manages Mississippi Records. He was completely freaked out, their answering machine was full and the phone was ringing every 15 seconds. In an outraged voice he told me, “We had to unplug the phone!”
“A sane person might ask, who wants to be on a record label who unplugs their phone on the day of release because of too many orders? That person would be me. I spent over 30 years in what is laughably called the professional music business, and I came to the conclusion that there were 3 things that I loved: writing songs, recording songs, and playing songs. So that is how I run my business in conjunction with Mississippi Records: no interviews, no photos, no videos, no promo copies for radio play or reviews. The record is out there. It can be found. And I am pleasured beyond belief that 6,000 of you managed to find the last one. We have pressed up more this time so they should be easier to get. I am doing exactly what I love in exactly the way I want to do it.
“I will be hitting the road in certain places this Spring, starting in February with Alejandro Escovedo. Keep up with REMHQ.com. It’s the only way I seem to be able to communicate regularly with the outside world beyond personal conversations. —Peter Buck
Feb. 20: Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
Feb. 21: The Magic Bag, Ferndale, MI
Feb. 22: Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL
Feb. 23: Stuart’s Opera House, Nelsonville, OH
Feb. 25: The Kent Stage, Kent, OH
Feb. 26: Taft Theatre, Cincinnati, OH
Feb. 28: The Georgia Theater, Athens, GA
March 1: The Earl, Atlanta, GA