Photo Credit: Nic Chapman
After working with the world's favorite underground indie-rock songwriter Jeffrey Lewis for the last decade or so to reissue his classic albums on vinyl were proud to announce a brand new proper full length!
Lewis has a new band name, too, if not necessarily a new band. Bassist Mem Pahl and drummer Brent Cole -- who have been touring the world with him for the past four years as Los Bolts -- are still on board. For Jeffrey, though, it is tradition to apply a new band name to each release. This time around, the group has been re-christened as The Voltage.
Although mostly recognized for his lyrical skills, the secret weapon in Lewis's arsenal has been his slow evolution from DIY folkie in the late '90s to barn-burning indie-rock live sensation- he started out as Daniel Johnston and spent twenty years turning into Yo La Tengo. Bad Wiring -- which was recorded by Roger Moutenot in Nashville, TN -- continues along this trajectory.
"The first thing we did when we got to Roger's studio in Nashville was to set up the gear and play the entire album through, live, like a live set, no stopping," Lewis explains. "Roger got good quality recordings of all of that and we pretty much could have called the album finished right then and there, in one day. But we spent the rest of the week using those live performances as a reference point for how to capture the best possible version of each song, the best performances and the best sounds. So we first showed Roger what we were capable of and then Roger showed us what he was capable of! It was an amazing working method! I worship a number of the records Roger had produced in the past, so I specifically sought him out, I didn't even know if he was still producing records, or where he was living."
As usual, Lewis's song topics are a tightrope walk between comedy and tragedy. The album opener "Exactly What Nobody Wanted" is a passionate tour de force on the subject of great artists that the world missed the boat on. Never entirely specific as to who or what the art or music in question is, the subject is left to the listener's imagination. Elsewhere the relentless and dense lyrical darkness of a song like "Depression! Despair!" is lightened by the camaraderie of the call-and-response chorus: "Depression! Despair! / I'll see you there."
With the endlessly creative musical variety on display from Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage, and Lewis's writing as sharp as ever, we are completely comfortable telling you that Bad Wiring is the greatest album of Jeffrey's 18-year career.
11.1.19 - Kent, OH @ Stone Tavern
11.2.19 - Detroit, MI @ PJ's Lager
11.3.19 - Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
11.4.19 - Omaha, NE @ Brothers
11.5.19 - Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
11.6.19 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records
11.7.19 - Boise, ID @ The Owyhee
11.8.19 - Portland, OR @ The Fixin'
11.9.19 - Seattle, WA @ Victory Lounge
11.11.19 - Olympia, WA @ Le Voyeur
11.12.19 - Eugene, OR @ Wandering Goat
11.13.19 - Arcata, CA @ Outer Space
11.14.19 - Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club 11.15.19 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Cid
11.17.19 - Phoenix, AZ @ Trunk Space
11.17.19 - Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
11.19.19 - Austin, TX @ Cheer Up Charlie's
11.20.19 - Tulsa, OK @ The Vanguard
11.22.19 - Knoxville, TN @ The Pilot Light
11.23.19 - Richmond, VA @ Sound of Music
11.24.19 - Newark, NJ - Index Art Center
Out October 18th, Singles Too collects Screaming Females’ complete non-album recordings, gathering together early 7” singles, digital-only b-sides, and one pretty great remix. The download and CD will also feature six cover songs, including the New Jersey trio’s takes on music by Neil Young, Taylor Swift, Sheryl Crow, and Patti Smith. The vinyl version of the album will be a one-time pressing limited to 1500 copies.
The tracklist also provides a roadmap of the band’s progress through 15+ years of music-making -- tracking Screaming Females from their early days playing New Brunswick basement shows into life as a full-time band with a tour schedule rigorous enough that their van earned its own New York Times profile. “On the first single we ever put out, there were mistakes that I made playing guitar that make me want to crawl into a hole and die,” says guitarist Marissa Paternoster, recalling the sessions for “Arm Over Arm” and “Zoo of Death.” “At the time I didn’t know I was allowed to say, ‘Can I do that again and correct it? I was 19, giving it my all.”
On Singles Too, you can hear Screaming Females lay it down at Milltown, NJ’s post-apocalyptic recording-on-a-budget one-stop, The Hunt -- tin roof, flammable mixing board, DIY growlab housed in back of Marshall cab -- AND at posh Los Angeles hit-factory, East West Studios, where they convened with members of Garbage to cover “Because the Night.” The b-sides included here also capture the breadth of the trio’s creativity, with compelling detours and tangents otherwise unrepresented in their catalog, from Sammus and Moor Mother’s re-work of “End of My Bloodline” to the stripped down demo of Rose Mountain’s “Hopeless.” Singles Too is a rarities comp, but it’s a compelling one -- a deep dive into SF ephemera, an introduction, and a history lesson all at once.
Formed in 2005, Screaming Females are Marissa Paternoster (guitar), Mike Abbate (bass), and Jarrett Dougherty (drums). They have released seven full-length albums and toured across the world.
PRE-ORDER "SINGLES TOO" NOW
SCREAMING FEMALES ON TOUR
8.23 - Cincinnati, OH @ beWILDerfest
10.3 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer w/ Team Dresch
10.18 - Rochester, NY @ The Bug Jar *
10.19 - Maspeth, NY @ OctFest
10.20 - Trenton, NJ @ Championship Bar w/ Dusk, Freya Wilcox and The Howl
10.21 - Morgantown, WV @ Pleasant St. *
10.22 - Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups *
10.23 - Chicago, IL @ Schubas *
10.24 - Milwaukee, WI @ X Ray Arcade *
10.25 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line *
10.26 - Columbia, MO @ Cafe Berlin *
10.28 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada *
10.29 - Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas *
10.30 - Houston, TX @ Satellite Bar *
10.31 - New Orleans, LA @ Banks St. Bar *
11.1 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl *
11.3 - Gainesville, FL @ The Fest w/ Jawbox, Jawbreaker
11.4 - Athens, GA @ Caledonia Lounge *
11.5 - Asheville, NC @ Mothlight *
11.6 - Durham, NC @ the Pinhook *
11.7 - Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5 w/ Dusk, Quintron, Three Brained Robot
11.8 - Baltimore, MD @ Rituals *
* w/ Dusk
PRE-ORDER "SINGLES TOO" NOW
Singles Too Commercial by William Bottini. Camera work by Bob Sweeney and Screaming Females.