Tommy Keene playing ‘Songs from the Film’ on tour (dates)
by Bill Pearis
For a lot of folks, this was the sound of the ’80s: bright, jangly guitar pop with hooks out the wazoo. Tommy Keene never quite got the attention that Matthew Sweet, The Plimsouls, The dB’s or even Let’s Active, but he has consistently made some terrific records over the last 25 years including last year’s In the Late Bright.
Keene also just released the career-spanning You Hear Me: Retrospective 1983 – 2009 which does a great job showcasing his talent and consistency. (You can listen to the whole thing on the label’s website.) It’s a sound that doesn’t really go out of style. And when not making his own records, Keene is also an in-demand freelance axeman, touring over the years with Paul Westerburg, Velvet Crush and, recently Robert Pollard. (Pollard and Keene made an album together in 2006 as The Keene Brothers.)
Tommy Keene just started a tour where he’s playing his classic 1986 album Songs from the Film in its entirety, along with other nuggets from his catalog. The tour hits The Rock Shop on Wednesday (9/15). That record has what is arguably Keene’s most well-known tune, “Places That Are Gone,” and the whole album is really a classic. And also out of print, sady.
The whole night is a power pop extravaganza, actually, with two openers both of which have fairly long pedigrees. First is Title Tracks, the new band from Jon Davis who was in Georgie James and Q and Not U. Title Tracks debut album came out in February and is full of super-melodic powerpop that would appeal to anyone who owns a Sloan album.
Also playing are Valley Lodge, which some of you may know is fronted by funnyman Dave Hill and onetime Walt Mink singer John Kimbrough. Valley Lodge’s second album came out last year, and if you like crunchy, glammy, Thin Lizzy-style rockers, be sure to get there early.
All Tommy Keene tour dates, plus videos from Keene, Title Tracks and Valley Lodge are below….
Tommy Keene – “Places That Are Gone” live on Conan O’Brien 1994
Title Tracks – “Steady Love”
Valley Lodge – “All of My Loving”
Tommy Keene – 2010 Tour Dates
Wed. September 15 – Brooklyn, NY The Rock Shop w/Title Tracks & Valley Lodge
Thu. September 16 – Pittsburgh, PA Club Cafe *** Early Show/Doors at 6:00pm ***
Fri. September 17 – Washington, DC 9:30 Club support for Superchunk
Sat. September 18 – Bordentown, NJ The Record Collector w/ Todd Ellis
Wed. September 22 – Los Angeles, CA Spaceland w/ Threes and Nines & The Checkout Girls
Fri. September 24 – San Francisco, CA Hemlock Tavern w/ Bye Bye Blackbirds & The Paul and John