February Instores at Waterloo Records

Waterloo Records has some great instores coming up in the month of February.  Ben Kweller stops by February 4th, Andrew Bird makes an appearance on February 11th, and Trail of Dead perform a set on February 17th.  Best of all these are all FREE.  They do start at 5 pm, so you might want to get there early to get a good spot.

Update:  Lykke Li was just added to play an instore on February 19th.

It appears Ben Kweller has gone a little country on his new album, Changing Horses.  He recently recorded a Daytrotter session, which has three songs from the new disc you can hear. Changing Horses drops on February 3rd via ATO.

Also, Kweller just played Letterman on Monday night. You can check out the video of him playing "Fight" here.

Kweller on the new record:
"I grew up bass-fishing, playing in creeks, and shooting BB guns," Kweller says. "Country music was the soundtrack to my life. It's still a big part of who I am. When Garth Brooks or Alan Jackson come on the radio, somethin' happens inside. Brings me back to the trees, back to pushin' cars out of the mud. Reminds me of my hometown."
On releasing a country album:
"I've been working on Horses for years." he says. "I wrote the first song for it when I was 16. Over time, I've collected these songs that fit together and wanted to release them together. I didn't want to try and fit them on my other albums one or two at a time."
On producing the record himself:
"I've learned so much from all the great producers I've worked with, from Ethan Johns to Gil Norton, and I just felt it was time for me to go in there and make the album the way I knew I could," he says. "I wanted it to feel really pure and direct. I wanted each instrument to sound exactly like that instrument, with very little treatment or alteration, to give it that natural, warm beauty that I love." [Via Paste]

Just yesterday, Andrew Bird released his newest album Noble Beast on Fat Possum Records.  The self-produced album consists of 14 songs recorded primarily at the Beech House, in Nashville, with additional recording taking place at various Chicago and Minneapolis locations over a five month period.  As usual, Bird handles violin, vocals, whistling and guitar, with back-up from live cohorts Martin Dosh (percussion, looping, keys), Jeremy Ylvisaker (guitar, bass, organ, shortwave) and more recently Mike Lewis, plus a supporting cast including Kelly Hogan, Todd Sickafoose, and the band Lonely Dear.

The NY Times has a great piece you should read about him.

Andrew Bird also plays the Paramount the very next evening (2/12).  His concert is just about SOLD OUT, but they do have obstructed view seats still available.  If you really want those seats, call Gettix.net at (866) 443-8849.  

Update:  The Paramount show is now SOLD OUT!!

Better yet just go see him at Waterloo instead.

Be sure to also check out a solo performance of Bird performing "Sectionate City" (off the Soldier On EP) on Nigel Godrich's "From The Basement" series.

Bird was also on Letterman last night performing "Fitz and Dizzyspells" from the new album.

Trail of Dead's newest endeavor, The Century of Self will be released via their Justice Records imprint Richter Scale on February 17th, the same day as their Waterloo instore.  The cover for the new album was hand-drawn by frontman Conrad Keeley, and was done entirely with blue ballpoint pen.  The songs, "Bells of Creation" (which is amazing!) and "Inland Sea" were previewed on last year's Festival Thyme EP and hearken back to the Trail of Dead of old.  The forthcoming album was produced by Chris Coady (TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and features backing vocals from members of Yeasayer and Dragons of Zynth.
“The new songs are very personal,”says Keely. “Some of them are autobiographical. We’re building on everything we’ve ever done, looking back on our whole career and taking a lot inspiration from our early music. We continue to evolve the concept and try to incorporate new ideas. And there was no point on the record where we were trying to write songs you’d hear on commercial radio. We know that singles are driving the market, and we don’t care.” [Via Altsounds]
As we mentioned earlier this month, Trail of Dead will be performing at show during SXSW at Emo's on March 21st.