Well, it's that time of year again, dear listeners. No, I'm not talking about breaking out Phil Spector's Christmas Album (though that's never a bad idea - even in July). I'm talking about 6 p.m. December 23rd (name your time zone), when stalwarts scattered the world over raise a pint of Guinness (or acceptable beverage of one's own choosing) to Jimmy Silva, the great friend and songwriter who left us now twenty-one long years ago. If you are a fan of the music of the Minus 5 and/or the Young Fresh Fellows (and why would you be reading this if you weren't?), then you know Dr. Jim Silva was a collaborator and inspirational instigator from the beginning, and in fact far before. This year we toast also Jimmy's true pal and musical accomplice Eric Scott, who has recently joined whatever version of the Goats is currently performing wherever the two of them reside. Maybe Ian McLagan, who we lost a year ago, is handling Wurlitzer/B3 duties. And John Lennon is supplying walls of ear-splitting feedback.
Hopefully you have some of those rare Silva sounds on hand to partake of this evening. Or perhaps the excellent tribute CD Through A Faraway Window, on which a diverse group of luminaries perform many of Silva's finest songs. Lacking any of those, I'm sure Jimmy and Eric would be happy to know you were listening to The Who, Kinks, Byrds, Small Faces, Beatles and R.E.M. on their behalf.
By the way, this seems as good a time as any to announce the upcoming release of the one and only FLYWHEELS album, coming in 2016. Eric Scott and Kim Wonderley, besides their work with Silva, have written and sung songs together for many years, and now a newly-recorded collection is near completion. This album is a true labor of love, and I believe it comes across that way -- it's a beautiful record! Featuring Kim & Eric plus various members of the Minus 5/YFF, Orange Peels, Smithereens, etc. And there will be a musical celebration of Eric's life at Thee Parkside in San Francisco, February 20, 2016. More on that later...
The Young Fresh Fellows today mourn the passing of P. F. Sloan, songwriter, singer, guitarist, and youthful genius really. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to record with Phil, twenty-some years ago, when he was somewhat a forgotten man, despite the string of amazing hits he'd tallied over the years. We tracked his "Secret Agent Man" for a new Japan-only solo album, with Phil singing (incredibly well on both of the mere two takes we recorded) and the four of us playing live. It sounded fantastic! When the producer tried to get us to abandon our garage-rock attack on the song (even suggesting we play the correct chords - the nerve of him!), Phil took him outside and told him he liked the fact that we were playing it the way we'd learned it when we first picked up guitars, back in high school. He stood up for us playing the song wrong! Because it was right. Because it felt right. Of course, by the time the record was mixed and released, the producer had has his way with the track, replacing Chuck's ripping guitar solo with a "better" (i.e. worse) one, and injecting it with a bit of that fab and timeless 80s sound. And still, it's pretty damn cool.
Jimbo Snagster just saw "Flip" at the Ponderosa Stomp only a month or so ago, and reported him to be in fine shape and that the show was GREAT. So it was quite a shock to get the news of his sudden passing. His music is and always will be an inspiration. P. F. Sloan, the Young Fresh Fellows salute you!!
The fabled four are loining our girds and ridding our toes of fungus in preparation for our next "LIVE" appearance, which is coming right up. Mark FRIDAY OCTOBER 16 on your face or wrist, because that's when we'll be part of the big opening weekend for the latest McMenamins reclamation project, THE ANDERSON SCHOOL in Bothell, WA. It's a cool old Jr. High School that is being spruced up and turned into a hotel, venue, party palace, etc. If you've been to the Kennedy School in Portland, or even the Edgefield or the Crystal Ballroom, you know what McMenamins does in giving old buildings a new life. We are really happy to have been asked to take part in the kick-off of this joint, and it looks to be very cool. The very excellent and like-minded UNLIKELY FRIENDS will open this FREE show at 8 p.m. Then Tad, Jim, Kurt and Scott will smoke dust from 9:30 - 11 or however damn long we please. Let's say 9:30 - 11 as a likely scenario. Pretty sure we're going to feel like performing from right around 9:30 until exactly 11 p.m. that night. We've got a premonition about this one.
In other news all four band members are still alive, though in various states of decomposition.Thank you for all your caring thoughts and gifts.
Jimbo Sangster and Scorby McCoffee had an emergency Portland confab, which resulted in definitive plans for the next YFF album. It will be recorded. In or near the United States Of America. Some of the songs have been written. Various labels and producers are jockeying for position. The Jack White rumors are possibly founded. Geoff Emerick has obviously tossed his hat in the ring. Timbaland has been rejected by the band outright, though not based on his expertise - but based only on the group's steadfast stance at unsuccess. Carl Wilson's name was bandied about, as the group is a huge fan of his productions on 20/20. If only he was available...
Meanwhile, we must apologize for lack of scheduled shows. If promoters wish to approach us, knowing our minimum fee is $5000, we are most happy to perform at any gig that makes sense and fits our criteria.
Yours in Sally Field, The Young Fresh Fellows
All who witnessed it can attest: there was magic in the air. The Paramount Theater in Seattle, chockfull of upwards of 3,000 fans, shuddered to the charged-up Super Rock of the dinosaur bands before them. Then the quaint but spunky Crystal Ballroom in Portland, merely half the size, responded in kind to a show now more legendary than its forebears. YFF busted out 'Loud Loud Loud Loud Guitars' for the first time ever, in tribute to fallen comrade Slim Dunlap, as well as reprising their heartfelt paean to Chris Mars, 'Whole Lotta Pappys'. Both bands tossed out welcome nods to the blues, to which both are obviously hugely indebted. The Replacements set featured many different songs from the night before, as did the Fellows'. These combos simply refuse to rest on their laurels, and it seems that 2015 is sure to be THE YEAR for both hungry young purveyors of rhythm.
The newly-refurbished Replacements have chosen to court disaster by inviting thee Young Fresh Fellows to open their shows next week in Seattle and Portland. It will be like the 80s only some of me are wider and it'll be Kurt on guitar instead of Chuck. Let me introduce Kurt Bloch, our newest member, since 1989. Some of you may remember him from The Cheaters or Wenus. The 'Mats will be without Chris or Slim, as Josh Freese and Dave Minehan have slipped into those trousers. If you saw that lineup tear it up at Bumbershoot in September you know they mean to deliver the goods.
The upcoming and imminent performances at the Paramount (April 9) and Crystal Ballroom (April 10) are currently sold out as people must have already heard we were on the bill. So unfortunately, you won't be able to attend. The concerts are sure to be phenomenal and have already achieved legendary status.
We'll dust off the cobwebs and ring in the new year at The (newly re-modeled) Sunset Tavern in the bustling Ballard neighborhood of our native Seattle. The Fucking Eagles will be on hand as well, and perhaps another musical act, hopefully a tight and winsome duo, like Steve & Eydie. We'll post more details as they become pertinent, but mark your calendars so you'll know where you'll be. Easier to find yourself that way.
The YFF crew is psyched to be taking part in a live salute to our favorite band, and it's all happening in Seattle at the Royal Room on Saturday April 12. Lots of stalwart Q-heads will take part, including The Tripwires, Red Jacket Mine, The Souvenirs, Jukehouse Hounds etc. Honestly we don't even know who all is playing, but it's going to be good. And it's a no cover situation but they suggest a donation to benefit Musicares, which is always a good thing.
Well, there may be a seeming dearth of YFF news, but it's never really that way. Why, our new album "FEATURING THE SHAT-UPONS" could arrive in stores any minute. Meanwhile, Scott and Kurt are about to hit the road with THE Peter Buck, not to mention appearing also, nightly, with the great Alejandro Escovedo. Our pal Al, in his most recent Seattle visit, dedicated his beautious opus "Sensitive Boys" to us and reminisced about first meeting us in 1986, as the Fellows opened for the True Believers and Los Lobos. Eventually we all ended up at the Edgewater Hotel, and the rest is history. Do the Mudshark!
Anyway, here are tour dates. The intrepid K + S duo will not only perform music, but they will TUNE it, as well. Also. This tour will be a great opportunity to pick up and cherish the very licentious new Peter Buck LP "I Am Back To Blow Your Mind Once Again", upon which Kurt and Scott feature quite heavily, not to mention Bill Rieflin of the Blackouts (on "the live" and "on disc"). It's been said, in fact, and verified by GUITAR JESUS magazine, that Kurt plays more lead guitar on ONE SONG on this album, than appeared on the entire R.E.M. catalog. So you get 30 years of shred in three minutes, which saves you a lot of time. So a good deal all around. Thanks to Sheila Sachs for customizing the tour poster. The "5 Legends" version is currently at the print shop. Hatch Print, that is.
2/20 Milwaukee WI Turner Hall
2/21 Ferndale (Detroit) MI The Magic Bag
2/22 Chicago IL Lincoln Hall
2/23 Nelsonville OH Stuart's Opera House
2/25 Kent OH The Kent Stage
2/26 Cincinnati OH Taft Theater
2/28 Athens GA Georgia Theater
3/1 Atlanta GA The Earl
Young Fresh Fellow’s Tiempo de Lujo is on sale for 24 hours only 60% off HERE at the Yep Roc Store! The album contains twelve songs recorded last year in Kurts basement in a twelve-hour session the long-time band members “booked” in order to have an excuse to get together. What resulted was a surprisingly cohesive grouping of twelve songs — hmm, that’s one per hour… seems like it shouldn’t have taken that long — seasoned bountifully with the energy and lyricism that YFF fans have come to expect.
In related news, Scott's adventure with the multi-national conglomerate Tired Pony continues.
Read all about it at the new website:
Split 7" auction begins August 15, 2013
Dear Explorers of the WWW! It's true, thee YFF has recorded a song written by our lovely friend Slim Dunlap of Replacements fame. We did it because it's a great song and Slim has also been stricken by a terrible stroke and we miss him and would like to help out any way possible. So, there is the Songs For Slim Series -- limited edition 45s (100 copies only!!!!!! - talk about LIMITED), and we are so very pleased to have been invited to take part. We recorded a dare-I-say killer version of Slimbob's "Loud Loud Loud Loud Guitars" and it is gloriously paired with the great Patterson Hood (Drive By Truckers, duh) doing "Hate This Town", so it's a WIN-WIN-WIN situation. The auction starts on August 15th, so check it out at:
I think you'll be able to figure it out. Please be generous, as not only do you get an amazing collector's 45 (super-cool green vinyl by the way, plus incredible art by the 'Mats's CHRIS MARS), but you'll be helping a very wonderful man to carry on survivin' with hope for the future. Let's face it, it's a bargain at ANY PRICE!
SO, I'm lying two feet from Jim in our spacious hotel room in Santander (google map) and it's too early so instead of sleeping but I present a quick catch-up (not to be confused with ketchup, an oft-maligned condiment in these parts) on the Life and Thymes of the Jung Fresh Harry Limes.
Lots of driving and tiredness yesterday - as Tad's infected big toe burned and swelled to astonishing proportions. He followed the instructions of a certain Doctor Soul and by the time our journey was done the toe was white and ripe for lancing by a courageous picador. Snakes Of Pus (note: possible album title). The fact that the evening show ended with me on drums had nought to do with our drummer's plight, and everything to do with the singer's might.
We were joined onstage at that point by our friendly and all-hopped-up opening band The Reformers (see: Los Chicos). They came complete with calimocho, which is coke and red wine (in their case usually sported in a large slurpee-sized and over-matched cup), and a boatload of good cover tunes like "When I Write The Book", "Can't Hardly Wait", etc.
Earlier in the day there was tortilla (mandatory at all meals, even during this period of imposed austerity), empanada de bacalao, agua sin gas, and dark northern skies, contrasting mightily with the bright heat of Madrid and Valencia and the road between. Tad's bread intake was not slowed by the pain of his digit, so in tribute we all dove headlong into the white asparagus and roasted beet offerings of our dressing room.
The venue invoked an arena-rock vibe, albeit friendlier. Sort of a modern community center, and they had a swell recording studio which we checked out after sound check, even taking the time to knock out a rough-and-ready version of "Rock And Roll Guitar" to some unsure end. At 10:30 p.m. (things are going on a bit earlier in Spain these days - again it must have to do with the dreaded and ridiculous austerity business) we strolled onstage to the strains of "Also Spach Zarathustra", and thereby the gathered multitudes were treated to a rash of YFF barn-burners, highlighted by the stellar new stomper "Everytime I See Your Face" (patent pending), "Middle Man Of Time" (classic), and the hauntingly brazen Tad/Kurt composition "Johan, Share Your Wine And Body With Me", which lent the gathering the air of a late Thursday night mass. All in all another triumphant and legendary performance by España's most treasured beat combo.
Tonight we ride in Aviles, and no doubt there will be more heated discussions about whether we've been there before.. Ox will be served, strings will be changed, and Dani the tour manager might listen to Slint. We will debut another new song, "Top Gear Summer". All will be right in the world.
Tickets are available, in advance, but the "concert" has been moved northward to the Sunset Tavern, Seattle. May 17th. Tickets for the Hemlock show will of course be honored.
Those who have already seen the youtube version are encouraged to erase it from memory.
YOURS, THE MANAGEMENT