Friday, August 22, 2008

Special Early Release of Rise of the Wretched on September 2nd

Hey people! Hopefully you are getting as excited as we are about the upcoming mayhem of the Republican National Convention! There are so many amazing shows to check out during the week of September 1-4. As you all know by now, we are doing a big outdoor show on September 2nd in Lowertown Saint Paul, as part of the WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD Block Party, put on by the Black Dog Cafe and Wine Bar. We'll be sharing the bill with some very heavy groups, such as Los Nativos, Kill the Vultures, M.anifest, Ill Chemistry, and of course the one and only Boots Riliey and the Coup!

So we are going to use this momentum and the uniqueness of that moment to do a special Pre-release Show of Rise of the Wretched. We will be handing out the first 100 copies of our EP for free, but ONLY at that show! But that's not it: Every single one of those CDs are going to be numbered 001-100, so you will have a truly unique item from an equaly unique show. This EP, unlike our last full length CD Reclaim Freedom, will be done in a truly grassroots way:
- We recorded the songs at McNally Smith College of Music as part of a special student program, so all these tracks were actually recorded by students in the recording arts program there. Big ups to them!
- Our own Dan Choma has done all the artwork
- We will have a very special friend of ours writing the liner notes
- We are burning the CD's all by ourself, spending countless hours!
- We will putting the stickers on the outside of the CD sleeve ourselves, and the stickers themselves were printed at a local print shop too!
- We will be assembling the CD's all by ourselves and distributing them that way too.

Once we are through the first 200 EPs, we may change our tactic, but for now we are doing everything we can do "in house." A very limited number of corporations are making money from us on this one!

So be a part of the excitement and get your numbered CD for free on September 2nd! See you there.

Our official EP release party will be at the Nomad World Pub on Saturday, October 11th. And you can expect some additional surprises there!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dwiight Hobbes on Junkyard Empire's Anti-RNC Tour

The latest press from Dwight Hobbes

Junkyard Empire embark on "Anti-RNC Tour"

Photo courtesy Junkyard Empire

August 17, 2008

Hard as it may be to believe, not everyone is delighted to see the Republican National Convention come to the Twin Cities. While the City of St. Paul and the St. Paul Police Department pulled a pretty good fast one, revoking the Welfare Rights Committee’s permit to assemble during the RNC, at least one relentless voice is determined to be heard: that of the avant-garde jazz and hip-hop band Junkyard Empire. They don’t need a permit and plan to state their case profoundly as possible with what they’re calling the Anti-RNC Tour. There’s no word on whether t-shirts, souvenir programs, and such will be available, but it’s confirmed that this is when the band will release the eagerly awaited follow-up to their debut album Reclaim Freedom. The new disc is an EP entitled Rise of the Wretched, and will drop September 2nd as the Anti-RNC Tour kicks off at the Welcome to the Neighborhood Block Party—also on-hand, among others, will be Boots Riley and the Coup, Kill the Vultures, Los Nativos, and Boiled in Lead.

“The idea of this little tour around the Twin Cities”, says Junkyard Empire trombonist and founder Christopher Robin Cox, “is to play shows in celebration of and solidarity with our brothers and sisters who [are] engaged in speaking truth to power during the convention.” Be prepared for such verse, from JE frontman Brihanu, as “I slam poetics with the dialectic of a heretic. Eclectic styles I inherited from the dociet files, and walked the highways with James Meredith. Evoke the souls of Langston and James Baldwin, because there’s a fire in my eyes when I too sing America. But the schools ain’t preparin’ ya’ for the next era, so we sit by in a state of gentle stasis, waiting for the genocide. My genealogy lies in the ocean waves created by Africans who refused to be slaves, so why we slavin’ for the status quo?”

Cox and company, since Reclaim Freedom, have created a new lineup that now includes Bryan Berry on guitar, Dan Choma on bass and Graham O’Brien on drums. The rest of the dates on the Anti-RNC Tour: September 3 at the Blue Nile for the “Real America Concert,” hosted by the Sha Cage-e.g. bailey outfit Tru Ruts; September 4 at Trocadero’s for the Goodbye RNC Party, hosted by MJG Productions with Jistoray on the bill; and September 6 at Downtime Bar for the RNC Protesters Thank You Party. What’s left to say, except, “Junkyard Empire in effect, y’all”?

Dwight Hobbes is a writer based in the Twin Cities. He contributes regularly to the Daily Planet.