The Extra Lens

Comprised of John Darnielle (the Mountain Goats) and Franklin Bruno (Nothing Painted Blue, the Human Hearts) and formed in the Inland Empire during the region's brief next-Seattle shortlist period, the project began as a potential home for any song John wrote that had a) more than three chords or b) a bridge. New songs for the group only happened when John figured he"d written something that Franklin might find clever or amusing. Reasoning that permanent-bridesmaid status means you never have to actually buy the dress, the duo have approached record-making at a pace that one would call "leisurely" if it wouldn"t make the leisure class look like busy bodies: one 7", several compilation appearances, one full-length at the dawn of the aughts, and now, arriving with Paul Masson-like deliberation, Undercard.

Recorded with Brian Paulson (Slint, Beck, US Maple) at the Rubber Room in Carrboro, North Carolina, and with Mitch Rackin (Excepter, Heavy Hands) at Seaside Lounge in Brooklyn, Undercard is the first Extra Lens record to arrive as a full collaboration between songwriters. The recording method, however, persists: John plays guitar, sings, and then gets the hell out of Dodge City, leaving Franklin to provide arrangements as the songs required: here sparing, here ornate; sometimes gentle, sometimes not; once with vibraslap, mostly without. [Merge Records]

Merge Records will release "Undercard" by The Extra Lens on October 19th, but you can pre-order and stream it in full at their site now. That's an MP3 up there too.

In support of that release, the boys will hit the road with John Vanderslice for four select east coast dates including the intimate Mercury Lounge on October 21st. The NYC show is part of the CMJ Music Marathon, but advanced tickets also go on sale Friday at noon (weird for a CMJ show at Mercury Lounge). All dates below...

The Mountain Goats - 2010 Tour Dates
Oct 4 - The Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS
Oct 5 - The Blue Note, Columbia, MO
Oct 6 - ACM@UCO Performance Lab, Oklahoma City, OK
Oct 8-10 - Austin City Limits Festival, Austin, TX

The Extra Lens - 2010 Tour Dates
Tue Oct 19, 2010 Philadelphia, PA Tin Angel *
Wed Oct 20, 2010 Washington, DC Rock and Roll Hotel *
Thu Oct 21, 2010 New York, NY Mercury Lounge *
Sat Oct 23, 2010 Northampton, MA Iron Horse Music Hall *
* w/ John Vanderslice

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