In July, Bash & Pop reported that a release was imminent for Sonoran Hope and Madness, the second studio effort from Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. Now comes word that the disc -- originally slated for an early October street date -- will be shelved until after the new year.
"It'll be out in February at the very latest," says Clyne via cell phone from Iowa, where the band is in the midst of a three-week tour. "It won't be any later than that."
The group has now penciled in February 12 as the day the record will hit stores, and put a hold on the Mesa Amphitheatre for a February 16 release party.
The reasons for the postponement are varied, according to Clyne, but essentially boil down to not having enough lead time to prepare the band's distribution and marketing outlets.
"The business machinations of the music world were a little bit more difficult to overcome than we estimated," he explains.
The delay will allow the band some extra time to put the finishing touches on the album. "We've just got a little bit of tweaking to do. It's recorded and mixed already," offers Clyne. "We've got the sequencing, mastering and artwork left -- and even that is mostly finished."
While the group will hold off on mounting any major national tours, the Peacemakers will make a couple of regional treks through the West and Southwest during the fall, as well as playing a handful of local gigs through the holiday season.
In the meantime, the band will be returning to Arizona next week to headline the inaugural La Fiesta de los Chubascos at the Sonoita County Fairgrounds on September 15. The event is being spearheaded by Clyne and is dubbed "a celebration of rain and music in the honky-tonk heartland of Arizona."
"It's going to be music, food, free booths for local artisans and people offering information on political or civic issues -- basically a celebration of all things Arizona," says Clyne.
In addition to the Peacemakers, Tucson country singer Andy Hersey and Patagonia roots combo Lazy Horse are scheduled to perform, with possible additions to the bill pending. Tickets are available online at the Peacemakers official Web site (www.azpeacemakers.com).
The rest of the Peacemakers have been putting their downtime to good use. Guitarist Steve Larson has already begun laying down tracks for his solo album, tipped to be a heavy, Southern-rock-meets-cock-rock affair.
Meanwhile, bassist Danny White has been working on songs with fellow bandmate/guitarist Scott Johnson for a possible commercial release. Both projects are being completed at White's Formula One studio.
For his part, Clyne says he'll use the time to "start writing new songs and just enjoy the break 'cause we're going to be on the road and away from home a lot after the record comes out."
Kissin' Cousins: With Tempe funksters Yoko Love on an indefinite hiatus, bassist Josh Prior and drummer Mike Hill have announced that they will officially join another long-running Valley combo, Cousins of the Wize.
Prior replaces former Cousins bassist Steve Faulkner, who left to join yet another local outfit, Chandler hip-hoppers Trik Turner. Trik Turner recently inked a deal with RCA, and is preparing its major-label debut.
The newly revamped Cousins are in the process of mixing the follow-up to 1998's A Brief Moment in Time's Pocket. The as-yet-untitled disc is tentatively slated to feature some 17 songs, mixing live band tracks with a variety of programmed beats and electronic touches, courtesy of frequent collaborator and now permanent Cousin Jamal Graves of Catch Wreck fame. The group is hoping to have the new album ready for release by December.
Cousins of the Wize will debut its new lineup with a series of Southern California shows next month. Of note: The band's live set will incorporate some material from front man Pie Gomez's recent solo effort We Attended Different Schools. Gomez has been somewhat inactive since release of the disc, instead spending time completing work on a degree at ASU. Cousins of the Wize will resume performing locally starting in late October.
Spin City: It's a double dose of DJ action this week at Tempe's Club Freedom, as world-class turntablists LTJ Bukem and Mark Farina take the stage on back-to-back nights.
Bukem, the famed U.K. drum and bass master, is touring in support of his latest effort, Progression Sessions USA. The disc was recorded live in Boston during Bukem's U.S. tour this past spring; Bukem last visited Arizona in September 2000, also performing at Freedom.
Bukem, whose recording output has been especially prolific of late -- he's released multiple volumes of his Progression Session and Logical Progression series since the late '90s -- will be performing this Thursday, September 6, along with Nookie, and MC Conrad.
The Bay Area-based Farina -- originally hailing from the same fertile Chicago soil that yielded fellow house legends Derrick Carter and Cajmere -- will be bringing his distinctive down-tempo beats to the club on Friday, September 7. Local DJ Jas is also set to perform.
This past spring Farina released the third installment of his Mushroom Jazz series (on his longtime San Fran imprint, Om Records), as well as lending his name and talents to an edition of Mixer magazine's United DJs of America compilation.
Showtime for both events is 10:30 p.m.
Take Cover: For those who've been in a cave recently, VH1's Cover Wars is a new game show where cover bands from across the nation compete in various contests of musical skill and manhood -- well, just musical skill, actually.
The program's second episode featured an exhilarating appearance from Tucson's own eccentric song stylists the Zsa Zsas. While the boys made a valiant effort at advancing to the semifinals, they were thwarted when celebrity judge and metal screamer Sebastian Bach gave them the shaft -- and when show officials failed to catch a rule violation by their competition.
A few days ago we received an e-mail from the Zsa Zsas' camp, and it's clear that front man Milos Sucrose (the Eastern European lounge lizard alter ego of Sand Rubies singer David Slutes) is still fuming from the band's run-in with Bach.
Though Sucrose speaks (and writes) in a broken English of Antonio Banderasian levels, we gathered that he was trying to alert us -- with his usual tact -- to the Zsa Zsas' upcoming show, a gala affair set for this week at Tucson's Rialto Theatre. His grammatically challenged missive follows:
Alright you noodlehead, listen carefully.
The Zsas Zsas are back and hosting Giant-Mega-Show Friday September 7th. It's biggest show we've ever done. I am not shitting you.
You see, we are big stars now. Very big stars. Remember that!
We are spending lots of money on expensive stupid props and surprise guests. We are moving over to Rialto Theatre so the whiners who complain that there is never enough room at our shows, will shut up. So shut up. We can fit a thousand of you mindless cows into that place. Bring your stupid friends.
So what will happen at this show? I'm not telling you! You must pay! But I will tease you with this:
We are showing rebroadcast of our appearance VH1 on Giant-Mega-Screen TV. We will show what really happened. Big controversy. Wait until you see this! Oh boy!
We are having Giant-Mega-Surprise guest. He's not cheap either!
We are having Free Tequiza Victory Toast for everybody who's old enough to drink.
Victory Piñata Bash
Sebastian Cach Lookalike Contest. I mean Sebastian Bach Lookalike Contest. Dress like Sebastian, Win Big prize.
We will be doing something that has never been done before by any act, anywhere. You will be involved.
The cost? Eight bucks if you buy in advance (at Zia Records). $10 at the door. I think you should pay more for this show. You in particular. Now go tell your dumb friends. Get to work!
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P.S. We see many of you Phoenix Zsa people now on our mailing list. Ok. So don't wait for next Zsa Zsa Phoenix show. You come down for this one ok? Get a fleabag room at Hotel Congress across the street for the night and enjoy a few more Tequizas.
P.P.S. Yes, we really having Sebastian Bach lookalike Contest. Put on a blonde wig if you have to, wear your leathers, whatever.
With a bit of bleach and some skin-tight chaps, Bash & Pop feels he's a virtual shoo-in for the Bach look-alike contest. With that in mind, we urge all good Valley residents to head toward the naked pueblo this Friday for what's sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime event.