Category Archives: News

Sebastian on Tour with Fiona Apple

Sebastian Steinberg is on tour with Fiona Apple. Check out the video below from SXSW:

Tour dates:

DATE CITY VENUE TICKETS RSVP
3/23 brooklyn, ny music hall of williamsburg rsvp
3/24 atlantic city, nj borgata spa & resort – music box rsvp
3/26 new york, ny bowery ballroom rsvp
3/27 boston, ma royale rsvp
3/28 washington, dc Sixth & I Historic Synagogue rsvp
6/24 new york, ny Governors Ball Music Festival rsvp

Mike Doughty’s ‘Book Of Drugs’

From Pollstar.com:

The former Soul Coughing frontman climbs onboard the tour bus for an adventure featuring not only his music but his new book as well.

Mike Doughty’s new memoir – “The Book Of Drugs” – describes his eight years helming Soul Coughing as well as his heroin addiction and recovery. Each night Doughty plans to perform his music, read excerpts from the book and even take a few questions from the audience in what could be one of the more unique tours of the year.

The shows begin with in Charlotte, N.C., at The Muse Feb. 3. Other stops include Atlanta at Eddie’s Attic Feb. 4; Orlando, Fla., at The Social Feb. 7; New Orleans at The Parish at House Of Blues Feb. 11; Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley Feb. 17; Ann Arbor, Mich., at The Ark Feb. 21; Toronto’s Drake Hotel / Underground Feb. 23; and Albany, N.Y., at The Linda – WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio.

Doughty also has a few book store events scattered through his tour routing – New York City’s Barnes & Noble Tribeca Feb. 2; Savannah, Ga., at The Book Lady Bookstore Feb. 6; Tampa, Fla, at Inkwood Books Feb. 8; Cleveland at Mac’s Backs Feb. 22; and Buffalo, N.Y., at Talking Leaves Feb. 24.

Visit Mike Doughty.com for more information.

New Classics: Soul Coughing, Ruby Vroom

CrawDaddy just posted a great article on Ruby Vroom! Click here to check it out, or read below!

Every time I’m in Los Angeles, I find myself wishing that I could soundtrack my car trips with “Screenwriter’s Blues”. The inevitable traffic jams always rob me of the opportunity. Sure, we are all in some way or another going to Reseda, someday, to die. But, I am not going to hasten that trip by subjecting myself to a song that suggests motion while choking on my own exhausts fumes. It’s one of the few times breathing is bad for you.

Soul Coughing’s first record, Ruby Vroom, is under-appreciated in my estimation. Here and now, loops and samples are second nature. This album makes ample use of them, and does it well. Everyone from Thelonious Monk right on down to the Looney Tunes orchestra, in a broad swath of musical knowhow, gets whimsically spliced and inserted into Ruby Vroom‘s songs, like painless diabetic needles. And in case you like your jazz sugar free, there’s a bit of that too. Jazzy but not jazz, rocky but not rock. Aesthetically pleasing. In other words: Fly.

As I write this, I’m realizing (here’s where shit gets meta) that my phrasing’s being affected by Doughty’s phrasing. Maybe you picked up on a few lyrical references, if you’re a fan, too. Some of those little fragments are too irresistible not to use, and I think that’s significant. Granted, cohesion isn’t his strong suit, but here’s a guy that’s super capable of pouring out whatever he’s got in his heart, mind, gut, and creating this almost effortless riff. I reckon he’d come in second or third in poetry slams, behind saucy black lesbians. Lyrically speaking, it’s not the big picture so much as the moment that’s worth listening for.

And of course, that’s not to say that the songs rely wholly on Doughty’s spastic/smooth, clunky/cool shades of psychosomatic state capture. The rhythm section is propulsive and adds the kind of ambient heft that’s usually reserved for guitars. The deep, dark caverns and stark urban precipices of Ruby Vroom owe much to both upright bass whomp and tight snare crack. Check the lively dub play of “Down to This”. Check the depths of “Sugarfree Jazz”, with its bored, distorted seagulls. Perhaps it’s largely to producer Tchad Blake’s credit that the sampling in no way overpowers the songs. Okay, except for maybe “Bus to Beelzebub”, but that madness is clearly planned.

However mitigated, the madness was not to last. Vroom is the first of three albums, each successively more conventional, an object lesson in how hard it is to remain weird. Doughty moved on to a solo career writing predominantly sentimental acoustic music, which too, has its moments. But most of those moments scream, “MEH!” when compared to this album’s inspired lunacy.

I’ll take pretentious jazzy Doughty over whiny lovestuck Doughty any day of the week, but I do have a soft spot for Ruby Vroom‘s sentimental moments. For some reason, “True Dreams of Wichita” has me dreaming out over Babylon, heart stings filtered through the beatnik babble but beating, still. The “Janine” teacup storm replicates the feeling of getting too fucked up on a weekday afternoon, phone in the crook of your neck, loopy headed in a dark room, looking at the TV as a source of light and sound. Squinting. Al Roker talking the blues, somehow.

It’s such a weird, amorphous pastiche of sounds and emotions.  But it’s sticky in the way a great album can’t help but be. It’s like sauce the bottom of a bottle. I’m drunk on its savory transmissions.

Sebastian Steinberg plays on Lou Barlow’s Goodnight Unknown

Sebastian lent his bass skills on a few tracks on Lou Barlow’s latest record. Also on this record is Dale Crover (Nirvana, The Melvins), Lisa Germano (John Cougar, The Eels, Iggy Pop, David Bowie), Murph (Dinosaur Jr.).

Doughty Releases Sad Man Happy Man

Here is a review by Joey O.

Early last year, Mike Doughty released Golden Delicious, which meshed his solo career with some of the beats of his Soul Coughing days. However, the overall effect didn’t really make for a coherent listening experience. Coming back with Sad Man Happy Man, Doughty goes back to basics and makes his most stripped down record in years. Hearkening back to his first solo album; the self-released Skittish; much of Sad Man Happy Man focuses on Doughty’s voice and acoustic guitar, with some bass and cello flourishes from his cohort Scrap Livingston. However, it is far from just another acoustic, singer-songwriter record.

Opening with “Nectarine (Part Two),” a sequel to “Nectarine (Part One)” from Golden Delicious, it sets the tone for Sad Man Happy Man, keeping Doughty’s distinctive voice and guitar style front and center. “Lorna Zauberberg” sticks out from its use of some sampled, chopped-up chatter, but there is very little in the way of extra sounds and production at all here. “Pleasure On Credit” is closest Doughty gets to his classic Soul Coughing free-form ‘slacker jazz’ rap-style (with the great couplet “John Paul Jones/bustle in the hedges”). The “happy man” part of the equation is represented by songs like “(I Keep On) Rising Up” and the raucous “Lord Lord Help Me Just To Rock Rock On.” In the end though, this is Mike Doughty doing what he does best: catchy songs with repetitive choruses and off-kilter wordplay that bore into your brain. You’ll have two chances this fall to catch Doughty’s always-enjoyable live show in the area: October 30 at the Sellersville Theater and November 27 at World Café Live.