Michael Cerveris -- DOG EARED -- 180g gatefold double vinyl LP (GIB001)

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Michael Cerveris -- DOG EARED -- 180g gatefold double vinyl LP (GIB001)

25.00

Nothing is quite as compelling on record as the restless fluctuations of the fractured heart, as singer/songwriter Michael Cerveris proves on his ferocious and fragile solo debut album dog eared.  From the roiling anthem “SPCA” (Cerveris’ cheeky, power-pop collaboration co-written and sung with Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker) to the melancholy, but muscular musings of “Can’t Feel My Soul” and “Snowbound,” dog eared is Cerveris’ lush declaration of liberation not only from lousy love affairs, but from his parallel life as a critically-acclaimed, Tony Award winning actor -- an extraordinary, but convoluted path for a rock musician. Cerveris -- former frontman of British band Retriever (Hinterlands) and the U.S. group Lame, as well as touring guitarist/vocalist on Bob Mould’s 1998 US/UK “Dog and Pony Show” sojourn – starred as Sweeney Todd on Broadway and originated the title role in Tommy and in the late 90s, he starred in the smash cult hit Hedwig and the Angry Inch on London's West End, in New York Off Broadway, and in Los Angeles and won the Tony Award in 2004 for Assassins on Broadway at Studio 54.


dog eared is a unique, confessional “family” project for Cerveris, encompassing the skills of his diverse network ofmusician compadres and friends:  co-producer/engineer Adam Lasus (Madder Rose, Clem Snide, Helium), Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss, Ken Stringfellow (Posies, REM), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Laura Cantrell, Norman Blake (Teenage Fan Club), Jeremy Chatzky (They Might Be Giants), Kevin March (Guided by Voices, Dambuilders), Anders Parker (Varnaline, Space Needle), Lara Gray (Luna, Ben Lee), Joe McGinty (Psychedelic Furs), strings arranger David Arnold (Bjork) and Alex Lutes (Nightnurse, Retriever) for recording sessions that took place sporadically over the course of six months in locales ranging from Brooklyn’s Red Hook waterfront to Portland, Oregon to Glasgow, Scotland. The album was mixed by Adam Lasus, Cerveris and Nick Brine (Oasis, Stone Roses) at the famed Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound NYC.                   --© Kara Manning 2003

 

Anglophile balladry and fuzzbox raunch recalling Big Star and Guided By Voices in equal measure…call it sloppy art for sloppy hearts, it’s damned swell(MAGNET)

 

Cerveris takes simple songs and transforms them into mini-operas with thick arrangements, inventive counterpoint and sharp vocal harmonies… turns pathos into pop redemption.        (AMPLIFIER)

 

…this is the very model of the modern Breakup Record…with its emphasis on acoustic guitars, uncertain melodies and hushed, tremulous singing, Dog Eared most recalls the work of the late Elliott Smith.  They call it range, people…     (TIME OUT NY )

 

a stately duel between saturated sound and barely-there vulnerability      (SPLENDID)

 

enough heartache to fill a Buick, and enough indie-cred guest stars to fill a minibus

(HOBOKEN ROCK CITY: Top 100 albums of 2004)

 

an album of oddly lovely fragile music … brought home with an ambient song about monkeys playing tennis (one of my favorite tracks of the year)  (ROCKTOBER)

 

Some thoughts on cerveris and dog eared

Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney, co-writer/vocals on “SPCA): “One of Michael’s strengths as a musician and songwriter is his versatility ... And with Janet and Ken playing on [the album], it felt like a little supergroup.”
Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, various tracks) - “Subtlety in textures and writing, a world-class cast and crew ... everything was exciting!”
Laura Cantrell (vocals on “Two Seconds”) -- “[Michael is] a fabulous singer and it was a real revelation to hear his music -- I’m just terribly flattered to be asked to come in and sing with him.”
Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub, guitar/vocals on “Crosshill”) -- “There’s this classic thing of actors wanting to be musicians -- but Michael can really do both, which is difficult ... and unusual.”
Adam Lasus (co-producer) “He has a great sense of not overdoing things or trying to make it sound like things you’ve heard before. There’s not one moment of this album that has that clichéd bullshit…the very subtle songs begin to creep into your mind with all these little hooks, drum parts and vocal melodies”
Michael Cerveris -- “[dog eared] was my way of making one big alternative reality. I have such a literal or emotional connection with all these people and it seemed as if they all belonged in the same room together ... and that room became this record.

 

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Michael Cerveris' SOLO DEBUT record. HQ 180g double vinyl and gatefold sleeve with lyric/poster insert.                                                        

1.Crosshill 2.Disconnect 3.SPCA 4.Two Seconds 5.Dog Eared 6.Can’t Feel My Soul 7.Drinker’s Peace 8.Snowbound 9.Another Time 10.Golden 11.Eleven 12.Monkey Tennis

 Nothing is quite as compelling on record as the restless fluctuations of the fractured heart, as singer/songwriter Michael Cerveris proves on his ferocious and fragile solo debut album dog eared.  From the roiling anthem “SPCA” (Cerveris’ cheeky, power-pop collaboration co-written and sung with Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker) to the melancholy, but muscular musings of “Can’t Feel My Soul” and “Snowbound,” dog eared is Cerveris’ lush declaration of liberation not only from lousy love affairs, but from his parallel life as a critically-acclaimed, Tony Award winning actor -- an extraordinary, but convoluted path for a rock musician. Cerveris -- former frontman of British band Retriever (Hinterlands) and the U.S. group Lame, as well as touring guitarist/vocalist on Bob Mould’s 1998 US/UK “Dog and Pony Show” sojourn – starred as Sweeney Todd on Broadway and originated the title role in Tommy and in the late 90s, he starred in the smash cult hit Hedwig and the Angry Inch on London's West End, in New York Off Broadway, and in Los Angeles and won the Tony Award in 2004 for Assassins on Broadway at Studio 54.


dog eared is a unique, confessional “family” project for Cerveris, encompassing the skills of his diverse network ofmusician compadres and friends:  co-producer/engineer Adam Lasus (Madder Rose, Clem Snide, Helium), Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss, Ken Stringfellow (Posies, REM), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Laura Cantrell, Norman Blake (Teenage Fan Club), Jeremy Chatzky (They Might Be Giants), Kevin March (Guided by Voices, Dambuilders), Anders Parker (Varnaline, Space Needle), Lara Gray (Luna, Ben Lee), Joe McGinty (Psychedelic Furs), strings arranger David Arnold (Bjork) and Alex Lutes (Nightnurse, Retriever) for recording sessions that took place sporadically over the course of six months in locales ranging from Brooklyn’s Red Hook waterfront to Portland, Oregon to Glasgow, Scotland. The album was mixed by Adam Lasus, Cerveris and Nick Brine (Oasis, Stone Roses) at the famed Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound NYC.                  

--© Kara Manning 2003