Summer is officially over, but The Stars Explode are looking ahead to the end of the year, when sessions for album #3 officially kick off! That’s right, folks, you heard it here first, the band has laid plans to begin recording the next record, and we’re really psyched about where we’re doing it and who we’ll be working with: John Plymale at Overdub Lane. John is an old friend and an amazing engineer/producer whose long & diverse resume includes credits on albums by Squirrel Nut Zippers, Meat Puppets, Superchunk, Tift Merritt, and Doug’s old band, Gladhands. In fact, he was largely responsible for the HUGE guitar sound on Gladhands’ seminal sophomore disc, La Di Da. Overdub Lane, the home base of world-renowned studio designer, Wes Lachot, is a beautiful facility right down the road in Durham, NC. And to do things right, we are recording to 16-track analog tape!!
Meanwhile, the band is pumped about its appearance at Carrboro Music Festival tomorrow, Sunday 9/29/13. After missing last year, the band is especially excited to return to the Fifth Season Gardening-sponsored stage to deliver an early evening rock show for the people of the Triangle. You locals will wanna come out early and enjoy the day full of music all over town; TSE will be taking the stage at 5pm. Meanwhile, as a sort of teaser, here are some pics from the band’s recent gig at The Station.
Howdy friends. The Stars Explode are looking forward to playing out again in about a month, after a longer than expected summer lull due to various cosmic forces at work. First off, we’ve all been traveling far and wide, only not as a band, which makes it a bit, er, challenging to play gigs. Jackson off to Paris and California; Doug to Chicago, DC and Philly; Dewey to Boston and the beach. Next, our main man, Lance, new bassist extraordinaire, and his Mrs. recently celebrated the birth of their 2nd child. Please join us in congratulating them! But as August descends, we’ll be reconvening to prep for upcoming shows and, with any scheduling luck, autumn recording sessions aimed at birthing album number three. More on that soon. Meanwhile, check the Shows page for dates and enjoy this somewhat blurry pic of Doug and his pal, Matt, meeting his lifelong source of inspiration, Paul Weller, this past week at the 9:30 club in DC. Mr. Weller is now the proud owner of TSE’s Between The Lines!
Summer heat is already upon us here in North Cackalackie, so that can only mean one thing: it’s time to ROCK! And what’dya know…The Stars Explode are hopping back on stage June 6th for their first real public show since August 2012, with a new lineup and brand new batch of songs. The gig will be at the ever-popular, always unpretentious locale of The Station, in downtown Carrboro. Showtime starts ~10pm. Come out, good people, and meet our fab new guitarist, Dewey McCafferty and bassist, Lance Westerlund! The pics below were taken at the new lineup’s super secret private performance at the White House last month.
I can’t take credit for the pure genius of this song. But I just had to post it. My dear old friend, Pete Sinjin, a talented singer/songwriter based in Brooklyn, sent it to me on a lark recently. It is well worth a listen.
In the immortal words of Mr. Bowie, “Time may change me/but I can’t trace time.” And so it goes, as the band continues to evolve without spending too much time looking back. We were saddened by the recent departure of FJ Ventre, our beloved and longest serving band member (aside from, well, Mr. Edmunds himself, of course). He is moving onto other exciting musical projects and we wish him all the best. But he may very well turn up playing a bass line or two and singing some backups on the next record!
Speaking of which…the remaining members of TSE are hard at work cooking up the ingredients for that always-difficult 3rd album. Doug’s been writing a lot since last fall when the band started its extended break from live gigging. Drummer Jackson’s home studio, meanwhile, has come together nicely in recent weeks, so between there and Green Gate, Doug’s country studio hideaway (literally..it’s hidden inside a large garden supply warehouse!), recording will not be a problem. And Dewey has risen nobly to the occasion by learning almost the entire back catalog while working diligently with Doug on the new material, coming up with some great guitar parts. The guys plan to continue working up this new set of tunes for the next couple months and searching for a talented bassist/vocalist and possibly a keyboardist to round out the lineup before hitting a stage somewhere in the Triangle area just in time for spring blossom hangovers and NCAA hoops hysteria. We’ll be sure NOT to plan our return to a local venue to coincide with a Tarheel game night!
So there you have it folks, The Stars Explode will soldier on and look forward to sharing what we love to do before too long. When we do return to the live scene, we hope it’s at someplace like this joint…
Wow–January has been a great month for The Stars Explode on Radio Airplay! We’ve picked up new fans across the globe, from Japan to Israel, Mexico to Canada, Peru to good ol’ Brooklyn, New York! Thanks so much to everyone for listening and taking a second to become a fan via http://www.radioairplay.com.Those of you unfamiliar with this site should check it out.
The band is hard at work on a new batch of songs we hope to share later in 2013. We’re writing, recording, and even thinking about doing some live online streaming concerts at some point! In some ways, that might beat the hell out of playing to 10 people on a Wednesday night in our home town! Stay tuned, good people of the Interwebs.
Just wanted to post a final update before the year 2012–but not the world as we know it (silly Mayans!)–ends. It was a great year for the band, with the February release of Between The Lines followed by some fantastic shows (opening for Fountains of Wayne and The dBs stand out as highlights). We’re grateful for your ongoing interest and support and hope to share some new music with you early in 2013, both live in person and via the Interwebs.
Meanwhile, we’re offering a big holiday sale on our remaining stash of TSE t-shirts. Normally $15 each, you can now pick up one of these fine American Apparel-crafted tees with some of that pre or post-Xmas cash for a mere $10. Yeah, we were a bit slack in posting this in time for you to get one under the tree for yourself or that special someone, but we all know it’s fun to get cool t-shirts AFTER the holidays, too! Hop over to the Music + Merch page here if you’re so inclined.
And so with that, we wish all our friends and fans a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you in 2013!
“Leaves keep falling from these autumn trees/Red, orange, yellow take the place of green.” Now, where have we heard that before?! Indeed, autumn has arrived in all its colorful glory. There’s a slight chill in the air here in Chapel Hill (there’s a pun in there somewhere…), and suddenly we find ourselves inside of November already. While the band prepares to head into the studio next weekend to record our contribution to Beyond Belief: A Tribute to Elvis Costello, we’re all thinking of our many friends up the coast who’ve been affected by Sandy. Please consider giving in whatever ways you can to help in the recovery efforts. Here’s a good link to several online giving options, and if you’re local to the NYC/NJ area, volunteer time if you can.
In other news, Doug has been busy writing new songs and trying to find the time to demo them for the band. Our transition to a new lead guitarist is progressing nicely, but we’re keeping the details quiet for now. Also looking to add a keyboard player to the live lineup for shows beginning in early 2013. Stay tuned!
Tomorrow night (8/24) at the MotorCo Garage bar in Durham, NC, you’ll have what might be one of your last chances to see the band play live for some time to come. We’ll be opening for our friends, Sea Cow, starting at 9pm-ish. If you’ve never been to the back bar at MotorCo, it’s a pretty cool scene. Outdoor and indoor seating and standing room, food trucks all around, always a great time.
After this gig, we’re going into semi-hibernation mode, with the band holing itself away in its various project studios to work on demos for the next album. We’re not breaking up, folks! Just taking a break from playing out and probably going through some line-up changes due to shifting demands and interests among the group.
So please, if you’re in the area, come on out and celebrate the end of summer with us at MotorCo. You’ll be glad you did.