For those who still haven’t heard the recently released New Ruins CD, The Sound They Make, do yourself a favor and get to Exile on Main Street or Parasol Records and pick up a copy. You can even preview a few tracks at myspace.com/newruins. The disc is infectious, and one of the best to come out of this scene in recent years. The songs translate very well in the live setting, as you can see for yourself tonight at Cowboy Monkey, where New Ruins will share the stage with another great local, Scurvine. Also on the bill is De Novo Dahl. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and is $5. The New Ruins MySpace page will also point you in the direction of other upcoming dates, including a Courtyard CafÇ show with Jose Gonzales, the man behind the song behind the Sony Bravia commercial with all the bouncy balls.
Ryan Groff of elsinore also has a new CD, People in the Midwest, though it won’t be out until late April. Keep an eye out for news of its release, which will mark Ryan’s first official solo effort. It appears that it will be followed by a new EP from the band, as well. Elsinore has had a whirlwind couple of years since joining the CU scene as a transplant from Charleston. This year they’re again nominated for a couple of CU music awards – best folk/Americana band and best CD for last year’s Nothing For Design. Ryan himself is also up for a solo award in the best singer/songwriter category. Last year, the band won the write-in category for best live band. Those looking to catch Ryan in a solo appearance can find him tonight at Aroma CafÇ at 8 p.m. for free, playing with the Noisy Gators.
Pulsar47 is also slated to release their first CD in the coming months. The CD title is Slow Motion Quest, and the band has already put some of the new tracks, like “Lazer Wolf,” up at myspace.com/pulsar47. The band is making some of my absolute favorite music right now, so I’m incredibly excited to hear how the disc turns out. To catch the band live, which is quite a spectacle, head to the Iron Post on Thursday for another installment in the 7-9 Sundays series run by Jane Boxall. Pulsar will share the stage with Chicago outfit Small Town and Tritone frontman Adam Wolfe. The show is $3.50, or $3 with a flyer from one of the bands.
No shows in town for Casados this week, as they hit the road on Friday for the first leg of a nationwide tour. This run will take them to the East Coast and places in between. The band has a new CD, Passages, that Nic and Heather Dillon are hoping to have in their hands before leaving for the tour. The next local show for Casados will be on April 7 at the Iron Post, as the band makes a stop in town as it crosses the Midwest on the way out west. Tracks from the CD are up at myspace.com/casadosmusic, as well as a tour schedule. Tell your friends.
The Tractor Kings also have a forthcoming CD, the first since 2003, and this time with basically a new lineup behind frontman Jake Fleischli. If the live performances of the songs are any indication, this record will be epic. According to band members, recording is finished. Hopefully this means we’ll see the new album very shortly.
That’s all for news on local releases for now, but there will be more in coming weeks. It’s a good time to be involved in the local music scene, as there are several bands that are really doing some great things. At press time, there was no music news whatsoever to report about Don Gerard. We at the CU Sound Revue are still waiting and hoping, though.
In non-CD, regular show news, there’s a big, if not extremely awkward, show at the Highdive this Tuesday. The unlikely bill teams up Reverend Horton Heat, Murder By Death and The Tossers. Three great bands with three fairly different crowds in one big show – it should make for an interesting night, assuming Tossers fans don’t just start beating the shit out of everyone else. They’ll likely be just as mesmerized by Murder By Death cellist Sarah Balliet as everyone else is though, so it should be fine. Doors open at 8 p.m., with the show starting at 9 p.m. and tickets are $20. Be there or be square.
Also on Tuesday, Ken Andrews (Failure, Year of the Rabbit) will make a stop at the Double Door in Chicago. It’s not local at all, but I’m planning on being there. Failure is one of my all-time favorite bands, and I’ve been a fan of basically everything Ken’s ever done. No Champaign date, sadly, but many of you have seen his wife, Charlotte Martin, during her stops in town.
Cowboy Monkey packs a one-two punch for the weekend. Friday night features the Chicago Afrobeat Project, along with local beat-meisters Fotomana, with a 9:30 start and a $5 cover. The bands will both play long sets that will surely keep the asses bumping all night long. On Saturday night, the club goes more rock with Centaur, Tummler and You Will Die. Centaur is the post-Hum project from Matt Talbott, and the band only pops up occasionally, so be sure to get out and catch the show. It starts at 10 p.m., and the cover is $5.
Mike Ingram can be reached with show/music news at firstname.lastname@example.org.