by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: City Center - Open House (MP3)
City Center @ Nakamura House Party 3/14/09...
[Fred Thomas of City Center/Saturday Looks Good To Me]:
I leave tomorrow morning for Olympia to get it together for 2 months or so of touring with The Hive Dwellers and Chain & The Gang. Hive Dwellers is Calvin Johnson's new band/new songs and I play drums for the band. C&TG is Ian Svenonius' (Make Up/Weird War/Soft Focus talk show) new jam. I play bass in that one. After the last two months of playing lots of shows, recording all the time and hanging so hard with Ryan all in the name of playing some fucked up music with City Center, I'm really sad to be taking off for so long and putting the CC on hold. Luckily we're gonna play a few shows on this tour, and we also have a ton of things we're working on that will come to light soon... [City Center blog, 4.1.09]One of those "things we're working on" (or maybe "worked on") is most definitely the forthcoming self-titled debut record from City Center. Fred announced the disc, to be released by Type Records, on his blog a week earlier: "The record will be released on LP and CD, with a UK release date of May 25th and a US release date of June 8. It will be distributed by Forced Exposure and available directly from Type or by getting in touch with us directly here or on Myspace, etc. There will be some sort of digital media for it as well, just not sure what yet." New track "Open House" is available for download above.
The Hive Dwellers + Chain & the Gang tour dates mentioned above include two NYC shows: Friday, April 17th at 92YTribeca and Sunday, April 26th at the Market Hotel. Tickets are available for the 92YTribeca show, which also includes City Center on the bill.
Svenonius-led Chain & the Gang's debut Down With Liberty... Up With Chains! is coming out via Calvin Johnson's K Records on April 7th. Art and press release for that album below.
All tour dates, and City Center art and track list - also below...
City Center track list
3.Life Was A Problem
7.You Are A Force
3.Life Was A Problem
8.You Are A Force
Chain and the Gang "Down With Liberty ... Up With Chains" release:
Everywhere that liberty goes, it leaves a path of destruction. Fast food, bad architecture, materialism, rampant greed, environmental destruction, imperial conquest, class struggle; these phenomena, when combined, seem to be synonymous with "Liberty."The Hive Dwellers and Chain & The Gang - 2009 Tour Dates
So just as it's called "liberty" when war and greed stalk the land, Ian Svenonius (Make Up, Nation of Ulysses and Weird War) calls his band Chain and the Gang. Like a true chain gang, they're on the road to confront and defy any freedom-lovers that come across their path. They shuffle, manacled, across railway yards, and through graveyards; they're on the side of the road, picking up the garbage as they walk, as people drive by, yelling at them. All they can do is become a chorus of metal meeting metal, hands hitting hands and a collective voice louder than one.
The songs they have created on Down With Liberty ... Up With Chains [KLP203] are sing-alongs; a call and response in the tradition of gospel tunes, work favorites and the girl groups and vocal aggregates that once dotted the corners of the Mid-Atlantic United States. It sounds as natural as a freak hail storm or the roar of a lion on the veldt.
The album is cunningly constructed - like a series of tone poems or work songs; the remnants of time served, a universal debt paid to society. It started with one lifer (Svenonius) and grew to include a gang of small time bandits with Calvin Johnson, Brett Lyman (Bad Thoughts), Sarah Pedal, Faustine Hudson (The Curious Mystery), Brian Weber (Dub Narcotic Sound System), Veronica Ortuño (Finally Punk), Nicolaas Zwart (Desolation Wilderness), Karl Blau, Chris Sutton (Hornet Leg), Sixx (The Vibrarians), Arrington de Dionyso, Aaron Hartman and Benjamin Hartman (Old Time Relijun). How do they describe their sound? Something they just found. They dug it up from the ground. Essential to that soil: guitar, drums, organ, saxophone and chants; paying off our collective debt to the universe. There are songs with a driving locomotive engine ("Reparations," "Interview with the Chain Gang"), a full-on choir of the disenfranchised ("Cemetery Map," "Deathbed Confession," Trash Talk") and disentangled, soul-influenced invitations to a celebration ("Room 19" and "Unpronounceable Name").
Down With Liberty ... Up With Chains is simple and profound, the way a pebble on the beach is. There are no song cycles, sample beats, sequencers or baby pictures of the artist as a tot.
The Gang is set to shuffle across the Land of Liberty in Spring 2009. Join them as they hope against hope, fan the flames, shake their fist and say "Yeh! Yeh! Down with Liberty! Up with Chains ... Put those handcuffs on my hands."
"Ian Svenonius is an inadvertent pioneer. His career has been a studied attempt to advance the history of punk rock, using influences as tools to build with rather than styles to flaunt and discard."The Wire
Apr 9, 2009 - Salem, Oregon. Cherry City Music Festival
Apr 11, 2009 - Bozeman, Montana. The Leaf and Bean Coffeehouse
Apr 13, 2009 - Dubuque, Iowa. 180 Main, 180 Main St ., 52001, http://www.myspace.com/bustedlift
Apr 14, 2009 - Springfield, Illinois. Black Sheep Cafe
Apr 15, 2009 - Bloomington, Indiana. Russian Recording *
Apr 16, 2009 - Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The Nerve *
Apr 17, 2009 - New York City, New York. 92Y Tribeca - *
Apr 18, 2009 - Boston , Massachusetts. Outside the Lines Gallery
Apr 19, 2009 - Providence, Rhode Island. AS220
Apr 20, 2009 - Annandale on Hudson, New York. Bard College
Apr 21, 2009 - Danbury, Connecticut. Heirloom Arts
Apr 22, 2009 - Montreal, Quebec. Lab Synthese
Apr 23, 2009 - Hamilton, Ontario. The Casbah
Apr 24, 2009 - Toronto, Ontario. Whippersnapper Gallery
Apr 25, 2009 - Buffalo, New York. Soundlab
Apr 26, 2009 - Brooklyn, New York. Market Hotel
Apr 27, 2009 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Barbary
Apr 28, 2009 - Baltimore, Maryland. Talking Head Club
Apr 29, 2009 - Washington, DC. Comet Pizza and Ping Pong
Apr 30, 2009 - Akron, Ohio. Musica
May 1, 2009 - Detroit, Michigan. UFO Factory
May 2, 2009 - Chicago, Illinois. Co-Prosperity Sphere - VERSION FEST
May 3, 2009 - Grand Rapids, Michigan. The DAAC *
May 4, 2009 - Chicago, Illinois. Ronny's Bar - *
May 5, 2009 - Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Eclipse Record Store *
May 6, 2009 - Iowa City, Iowa. Public Space * May 7, 2009 - Indianapolis, Indiana.
May 8, 2009 - Louisville , Kentucky. Skull Alley
May 9, 2009 - Greensboro, North Carolina. UNC - Greensboro Campus
May 10, 2009 - Athens, Georgia. Secret Squirrel
May 11, 2009 - Atlanta, Georgia. The Drunken Unicorn
May 12, 2009 - Huntsville, Alabama. Vertical House Records
May 14, 2009 - New Orleans, Louisiana. Spellcaster
May 15, 2009 - Scott, Louisiana. Bourque's Social Club
May 16, 2009 - Austin, Texas. Emo's
May 17, 2009 - Denton, Texas. Hailey's Club
May 19, 2009 - Santa Fe, New Mexico. Warehouse 21
May 20, 2009 - Tucson, Arizona. Solar Culture
May 21, 2009 - Isla Vista, California. Biko's Garage
May 22, 2009 - Los Angeles, California. The Smell
May 23, 2009 - San Francisco, California. The Parkside
May 24, 2009 - Oakland, California. Ghost Town Gallery
May 25, 2009 - Santa Cruz, California. Crepe Place
May 27, 2009 - Eureka, California. Accident Gallery
May 28, 2009 - Portland, Oregon. Rotture
May 29, 2009 - Seattle, Washington. The Vera Project
May 30, 2009 - Vancouver, British Columbia. little mountain studios - 195 E.26TH AVENUE
May 31, 2009 - Anacortes, Washington. The Department of Safety
Jun 1, 2009 - Olympia, Washington. Northern - 321 4th Ave.
* w/ City Center