Violent Femmes have announced details of a remarkable new collection of unprecedented live recordings. 2 MICS & THE TRUTH: UNPLUGGED & UNHINGED IN AMERICA arrives via PIAS on Friday, July 7.
2 MICS & THE TRUTH: UNPLUGGED & UNHINGED IN AMERICA sees Violent Femmes reinventing their own extraordinary canon with all-new live performances, including rearranged classics, songs played live for the first time, spontaneous requests, and random improvisations. Featuring The Horns of Dilemma, Violent Femmes’ ever-evolving cabal of multi-instrumentalist backing musicians, the album was recorded last year as the band visited public radio stations and music media outlets across the country in support of their acclaimed ninth studio album, WE CAN DO ANYTHING. Always eager to push their sound forward, the Milwaukee-based combo brought with them a pair of Ear Trumpet Labs Edwina microphones, specialized bluegrass mics that allowed Gordon Gano (voice and guitar/banjo/fiddle) and Brian Ritchie (acoustic bass guitar and vocal) to play and record in close proximity. Backing musicians – including baritone saxophonist Blaise Garza and special guests like banjo master Tony Trischka and legendary Television drummer Billy Ficca – were tracked through sound bleed in the tradition of the early jazz, blues, country, rembetika, rockabilly, and folk records which informed the Violent Femmes aesthetic from the jump. Percussionist John Sparrow’s innovative use of a Weber Grill as a rhythm instrument enabled Violent Femmes to stand close together around the two mics and play in perfect balance, the metallic tones meshing with Ritchie’s acoustic bass and Gano’s strummed guitar.
“This is the first time we’ve delivered a full scale recording to the public which captures the sound and spirit of the band the way we play together when we’re working out songs in the hotel or dressing room,” says Brian Ritchie. “This project refocuses attention upon the repertoire as a whole by stripping songs to their essentials, conveying them without artifice, and removing them from any timeline. It’s the closest we’ve gotten to the essence of Violent Femmes.”
2 MICS & THE TRUTH: UNPLUGGED & UNHINGED IN AMERICA will be available on CD, digital download, and 2 LP vinyl, with the latter edition featuring five additional songs. A complete track listing is below.
Violent Femmes will celebrate 2 MICS & THE TRUTH with a wide-ranging North American summer tour including headline shows and a co-headline trek alongside Echo & The Bunnymen beginning Tuesday, July 11 at Philadelphia, PA’s Skyline Stage at The Mann and then continuing through early August. For complete details and ticket information, please see www.vfemmes.com/tour.html.
ON TOUR 2017
JULY 11 – AUGUST 3 W / ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN
7 – Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe Live
8 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
9 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
11 – Philadelphia, PA – Skyline Stage at The Mann
12 – Brooklyn, NY – Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island
14 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony Summerstage
15 – Boston, MA – Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
17 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
18 – Detroit, MI – Meadow Brook Amphitheatre
19 – Columbus, OH – Express Live Outdoor Stage
21 – Milwaukee, WI – BMO Harris Pavilion
22 – St. Louis, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
23 – Chicago, IL – Huntington Bank Pavilion
25 – Kansas City, MO – Crossroads KC
26 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium
29 – Costa Mesa, CA – Pacific Amphitheatre
30 – Saratoga, CA – Mountain Winery
1 – Portland, OR – Oregon Zoo Amphitheatre
2 – Seattle, WA – Woodland Park Zoo Amphitheatre
3 – Vancouver, BC – PNE Amphitheatre