New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
An old upright piano, a snarling electric bass, Phil Spector-ized booming drums and seductive Cool School vocals get into a punk-blues brawl at the studio of Grammy-winning Black
Keys producer Mark Neill. On their head-spinning new album, The Claudettes summon vaudeville blues, '60s soul and Cramps-like psychobilly. Behold Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium!, the band's third full-length, released March 23 on Yellow Dog Records and first to feature their touring lineup of piano, drums, "Bass VI" guitar and three singers.
Across all these songs, pianist/songwriter Johnny Iguana airs grievances about the numbing and divisive effects of an Internet-dominated world. "Nobody knows how to talk to each other these days," begins the song "Give It All Up for Good," while "Bill Played Saxophone" follows American political nemeses through periods of smoldering bitterness and revenge fantasies. "Death and Traffic" begs for stories of saved lives and heroism amidst the onslaught of bad news, then "Utterly Absurd" bemoans the age of the hair-trigger Google search: "Thought dies as transmission rise … 'fast and now' killed 'I know how.'" And need anything more be said about the prescience of "Naked on the Internet"?
Billboard debuted the track "Give It All Up For Good" at http://bit.ly/2tC0yEv and the band's clever video for "Don't Stay With Me" can be viewed at http://bit.ly/2G6G4p4. Physical copies, digital download and streaming links of the full album are available upon request.
Some recent reviews:
"Boasts punk spirit, earworm melodies, and a neo-retro sound that's loaded with appeal ... "
—The Second Disc
"With elements of blues, soul, punk, and flat-out noise, the quartet have something truly unique that you have to hear to understand — even if it only succeeds to confuse you more."
—Girl Underground Music
"[The band's new lineup] has only made the Claudettes' distinct and idiosyncratic blend — punk, blues, R&B, rockabilly, some jazz — more potent." —Billboard
""Every song on the album gives me a jumpstart, I hear so many levels of what I consider amazing creativity that it is hard to dissect ... this album will end up on a very special list at the end of the year." —No Depression
Neill invited the Claudettes to his Georgia studio after being introduced to the band by Dave Cobb (Grammy-winning producer of Sturgill Simpson
and Lake Street Dive). The Claudettes recorded at Soil of the South for ten days, taking advantage of Neill's vast knowledge and collection of vintage equipment. What's traditional on Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium! are the blues, soul and rock 'n' roll touchstones, and the antique instruments and equipment used to document them. What's new comes through in the punk-laced energy and sum total of these songs, the musicians, and producer Neill, who describes this album thusly: "Haunted cabaret ... David
Lynch movie music crossed with Allen Toussaint's driving piano sound! And sort of like when you're driving late at night in the South and two radio stations are coming in together and it's perfect! ... Like Otis Spann and Mark Sandman from Morphine sitting in with Keely Smith. I'm kind of riffing here but seriously nobody sounds like them ... I love this new record, it's crazy good."
Wed., April 4 WORTHINGTON, OH Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza
Thurs., April 5 FERNDALE, MI Otus Supply
Fri., April 6 YELLOW SPRINGS, OH Underdog Café @ Emporium Wines
Sat., April 7 CINCINNATI, OH MOTR Pub
Fri., April 27 CHICAGO, IL Emporium Arcade
Sat., April 28 URBANA, IL Iron Post
Fri., May 4 ROCKFORD, IL Mary's Place
Sat., May 5 MADISON, WI North Street Cabaret
Wed., May 16 CLEVELAND, OH Happy Dog
Thur., May 17 WASHINGTON, DC Hill Country Live @ Hill Country BBQ
Fri., May 18 PHILADELPHIA, PA Bourbon and Branch
Sat., May 19 NEW YORK, NY Rockwood Music
Hall Stage 1
Sun., May 20 SOMERVILLE, MA The Lounge at Once Somerville
Fri., May 25 MINNEAPOLIS, MN Dakota Jazz Club
Sat., May 26 SIOUX FALLS, SD Total
Sun., May 27 STOCKHOLM, WI Liberty
Mon., May 28 MADISON, WI Brat Fest
Fri., June 1 MILWAUKEE, WI Anodyne