Another brand new Suburbs album? March 26 2017, 0 Comments
Here’s what happens. I walk by the piano looking at it out of the side of my eye. This can go on for weeks. The piano is perfectly innocent, no blame can be laid on it. It’s entirely me and my mood. Me and my Muse, maybe... We are the fickle ones. Truth be told, the piano is a blameless, amiable and pleasant companion. A real boon to the household. But sometimes I can’t look it straight in the eye. I walk on by.
Then comes a day when I walk straight up to the piano and, with a great smile on my face, embrace it with open arms. “Where have you been, old friend?” I say, placing my coffee cup on a small table (placed there entirely for the purpose of holding my various cups). “Tell me a story!” And I’m playing again, improvising and writing, and quite content.
Why days and weeks can go by (and years) without this feeling, indeed feeling the opposite, almost shunning the poor creature (the piano), I do not know. I have had various theories.
So we eventually come to the point where my visits to my old friend (Is this becoming too precious? Let’s just call her 'Steinway') have produced enough nuggets to share with the rest of the band. We gather at various rehearsal rooms, studios, bars and restaurants and bat these nuggets like so many balls of colorful yarn around. (Sorry, mixed metaphors are accumulating...) Sometimes they come together into full blown arrangements very fast. Sometimes they take years of experimenting to reach their full potential.
For instance the song “Lost You On The Dance Floor” from this new album was an entirely different animal when we first started recording it. I didn’t really even know what it was about. Until one day I woke up with something in my head that I knew was “it”, and we went into the studio and threw an entire year or more of work into the trash. We started over. And that song is now one of my favorite on the record.
Which makes me at this point want to interrupt my self-centered tale to thank and introduce the open-minded, flexible, amazing artists that make up The Suburbs now. This process would not succeed if they all were to a man and woman any less than the generous, open, loving, curious, talented and skilled people that they are.
After Bruce Allen passed away and Michael Halliday retired from the stage, we started this new incarnation with inviting Stevie Brantseg to join us. Stevie B. was an old friend from the Twin/Tone days, one of the best guitarists in a town with (admit it) a lot of great musicians. But there was something more to Stevie. He “got” the initial vibe of the band, particularly the idiosyncratic quirk that Bruce C. Allen brought to it. And he continues to bring his own rock star panache to the new songs and the old.
Next we invited Steve Price to join us. I asked my friends in the New Standards, John Munson and Steve Roehm, who are both great bass players (ok, John is the best), who they would recommend. They both said “Steve Price” without hesitation. I think everyone who pays attention to the scene (and the album credits) also knows that Steve P. is a great recording studio engineer and producer too. He was in the trenches on this new album from Day 1.
We’ve always been blessed to have our old friend Max Ray and (his wife) Rochelle as the rock bottom of a horn section that we’ve had part of our sound since I decided to write that silly horn line from “Love Is The Law”. (Sorry, it’s not silly. It’s exciting!!) Max comes from venerable musical stock, playing with Willy Murphy and the West Bank dudes, and of course the notorious Wallets. Round that section out with one of my favorite all-around musicians, Stephen Kung on trumpet and keyboards, and... what can I say? Cool Magic.
When we lost our old friend Beej, we asked the extremely talented Jeremy Yvilsaker (nicknamed for purposes of this band Jerome) if he’d fill in the 2nd guitar slot. Now, the absence of Beej is no light matter, and Jerome made it clear that he by no means would want to be construed to have tried to “take Beej’s place”. We all know that would be impossible. But Mr. Yvilsaker said he would very much like to play guitar and bring his own thing to the group. He did, and he does. And it is amazing.
Last, but not least, we come to Janey Winterbauer. With all lead vocal duties falling to me now, I sought at long last some real harmonic firepower to bolster the vocal sound. To my delight, Janey agreed to join this nutty crew.
Have we covered everyone? Oh yeah. Hugo is on drums. And me, I play the piano and sing.
And we have a brand new Suburbs album ready for you!
Hope you enjoy it.
and THE SUBURBS!!
Words from the Big Apple March 04 2015, 0 Commentshttp://www.newyorker.com/
A Beaming Bream... October 13 2014, 0 Comments
I'm not sure if this blog should be all about bragging but…we had a great time at the Cabooze this Fall and are proud to notice that the Mpls Star Tribune music critic Jon Bream did too! Quote: "…the ’Burbs haven’t sounded this tight and thrilling in years." Jon called out the Steve's on bass and guitar for their excellent work and made our newest member Jeremy Yvilsaker quite welcome. Everyone shone that night. And our winter show will be another doozy: playing New Year's Eve with our old buddies The Suicide Commandos! Yowzer. At the Medina Ballroom, out west of the Twin Cities. Click on GIGS for tix. Looking forward to that! Have a great Holiday Season y'all and we will see you quite soon!
First Ave - Turn the Radio On June 02 2014, 0 Comments
Nice film job, TPT, thanks. With Johnny Rey on guest acoustic guitar!
DEAR SUBURBAN PEEPS ~ April 13 2014, 0 CommentsWhat a great start to (a long overdue) Spring! 1st Avenue SOLD OUT and packed to the rafters with happy happy rockers (including the bowl of nuts on the stage), and by all accounts one of the best shows in Minneapolis rock history. Or do we exaggerate? Seriously - lots of great feedback and happy faces out there. And the trip to Lutsen Mountains? What a blast. That was one of the best musical moments we've enjoyed in a while too. And the skiing and camaraderie? (or as Bruce would say: "camar-oddity") We are content.
But not for long. The boys and girls of The Suburbs are already hard at work on new tunes in our lab. Look for more new stuff and serious deep cuts in the future shows and on new methods of musical disbursement. Our ears and eyes are open for new gig opportunities (maybe some summer fests, or another fall show in town?) and possible studio work coming up.
We thank you all from the bottoms of our hearts for coming out and making this, as always, a superfun experience.
TWIN CITIES - Spring 2014
Back at First Ave! February 14 2014, 0 Comments
We're thrilled to announce that we will be back at historic First Avenue on Friday, March 28th. Tickets on sale Friday January 24th.
Happy New Year! January 04 2014, 0 Comments
The fans rose to the occasion and helped fund (in a big way) our new CD "Si Sauvage". The band rocked a bunch of awesome sold-out shows from Saint Paul to NYC. And to top it off "Turn The Radio On" was voted by the Twin Cities music critics #1 Song Of The Year! Yes, we couldn't have dreamed up a better outcome when first we envisioned going back in the studio. Thank you, All!
Who knows what 2014 will bring for The Suburbs? But we're having fun again, writing new songs still, and making some plans.
We look forward to seeing you out there in the world! Rock on.
Chan, Hugo, Beej, the Band of Steves, and the Shower of Flowers horns
NYC! St. Cloud! California? October 14 2013, 0 Comments
Si Sauvage rumbled into New York's Lower East Side and it was a blast. Mercury Lounge was sold out and the new 'Burbs lineup showed their chops to the faithful who dug the oldies but warmly welcomed the new material. It's funny how "Turn The Radio On", "Good Sign", etc, fit right in and get the crowd rockin'... Love it.
Now we're getting psyched to play at the Paramount Theater in St. Cloud in our own home state! Be sure to get your tix now and come hear the old and new. We'll crank out a few rarities and test drive some never before heard on stage new ones. Fun!
And, keep the love glowing and flowing as we start planning a West Coast swing. If we can pack a few shows out on the road we can keep this bus rollin!!!
Love is the you know what!!
See you out there. And THANKS.
Updates September 09 2013, 1 Comment
NOTE: Most recent at top
Friends! What an amazing journey so far, and in such a short span. We raised our goal (and then some, thank you very much), finished and manufactured the record, got the swag together (coasters, posters and such), got the single "Turn The Radio On" all over the airwaves (it's a hit!), released the record (it is now in stores, on our website, Itunes and everywhere), played the MN State Fair in front of a record 8,834-strong audience, not to mention the awesome in-studio performances at MPR and The Current, got great press, and the reviews are just starting to roll in. And that's just the beginning! 20+ radio stations, from Maine to Washington, Chicago to Florida, have added the record to their rotations, some of which have already reported it in their top 30 songs played, more show requests are arriving in our in-box, and we're heading to New York in a couple weeks. None of this would have been possible without you. We all made this beautiful thing together. THANK YOU. I'll keep you updated. PS: Don't forget to send friends and interested parties to our website where we have all sorts of cool stuff including the CD and vinyl for sale: www.thesuburbsband.com
Oh, sorry... with all the GOOD news I forgot to give you the not so terribly good news. We're running late on getting the vinyl out to everyone because, quite frankly we were too busy (or absent minded... Ok! We were stupid) to autograph enough before Beej flew back to LA! So, please forgive our tardiness. We're waiting, waiting, for the final batch of beautiful pink vinyls to be John Hancocked. Same deal with the posters. But they WILL BE COMING to a mailbox near you. The CDs, coasters, etc. should have arrived or will as they get mailed out in batches. What else? Oh yeah, some people have not responded to our survey with their email and instructions for their download. Check your email box for a message from us from the last few weeks, and respondez-vou s'il vous plait!
As for the bigger stuff, the golf and parties etc. give me just a another couple weeks as I move and get to NY and back. Then, we party.
Dearest Suburban Supporters,
I am pleased to announce your new "Si Sauvage" digital downloads will arrive starting today!
Vinyl, posters, tshirts, etc to follow shortly. See picture. Ready to rock!
The new album drops Tuesday. Please check out and send friends to our online store where you can buy extra copies, T-shirts, check for concert dates (next: the MN State Fair Grandstand Aug 30) and more. Of course the new CD will be available on ITunes, Amazon, at the Electric Fetus etc. too, after August 27.
None of this excitement would have been possible without your generous support.
Check out the fab coverage in the Mpls Star Tribune by clicking here.
Hey Kids! I thought I'd better send out a quick update so y'all are... um... updated!
We've been busy. Making coasters, teeshirts, vinyl, CDs, posters, dance mixes, booking gigs, working the press, talking with video directors, drinking alcohol, and partying like rock stars (kidding! We are working our asses off... being our own LABEL!)
And we're on track. Well, vinyl might be just a week or two late... Our mix master had some quibbles. He wants it perfect! Anyway - be sure to respond to the survey you will receive where we ask for your address, tshirt size, email, etc etc. This is vital so you may receive your goods.
Fancy Pants People who signed up for big buck parties etc: we will coordinate ASAP and party down. I'm thinking the SPAC bar listening party will be in October. Guest list folks, be sure to write me here or on Facebook or whatever and indicate what show you want to go to. Guest list for Mercury Lounge in NY is nearly full. But there will always be gigs coming up. We will hang.
And always check in at www.thesuburbsband.com for performance updates, sign up for our email list, and in general stay in touch!
Our Incredible, Amazing Fans July 31 2013, 3 Comments
PLEASE SHARE! Post any of your photos or great memories to your Facebook page and tag us!
We wouldn't be here without our awesome fans. A compilation of quotes and photos!
"Kickin' it old school in honor of The Suburbs hitting their Kickstarter. Looking forward to the new album!" -J.B.
"Like everyone in Fargo in the early 90's, I was a record store clerk aspiring to be a DIY 'zine producing guy. Hey - don't question my aspirations! My co-worker and I called our 'zine fuzzface, and it took Fargo by storm for a handful of months, then disappeared. But it's untimely death under still-suspicious circumstances didn't come before I could write about my favorite band. Keep in mind that this was 20 years ago. Looking back at what I wrote, I'm not sure I understand any of it, except that the 'Burbs put on a hell of a show at the '93 reunion and that I wrote like a jackass. Still do, for that matter. Cheers, and congrats on the Kickstarter campaign!" -D.L.
"My first 'burbs show. Y'all played at Butte Gymnasium at NDSSS in Wahpeton ND, shortly after the release of Credit in Heaven. I was at this must-see show with 6 or so friends. We danced our asses off, while 30 or so others sat in their folding chairs, probably unsure what to think. Rick Springfield, you weren't. The stage was fronted by one of those old railings, with the 2 or 3 inch diameter bars at, I don't know, 1.5 and 3ft in height. The image of Beej wrapped around those bars singing "Drinking..." will be forever etched in my memory, unless I suffer an onset of Alzheimers, and maybe even then. That album, and that show (with some credit to the Flamin' Oh's for coming to town as well), changed the direction of my musical tastes. (The show in Fargo during a snowstorm a couple years ago is a very fond memory, too.)" -D.L.
"First EP, 1978... Side 1: Memory, Go, Stereo, Teenage Run-In, Chemistry Set. Side 2: Your Phone, Couldn't Care Less Anymore, You, Prehistoric Jaws." -J.C.
"My wife and I had one of our first dates when the Suburbs played at Macalester College and we danced the night away. When we got married (almost 23 years ago) we continued to groove to the Suburbs. During the wedding reception, we choke-danced, pogo-ed and slam-danced (in the reception hall of a Unitarian Universalist Church) to "Cows" and "Music For Boys." -P.W.
"Can't wait to get the new album and wear my classic pin (Circa 1986) at an upcoming show." -L.L.
"On a paddle wheel boat on the St. Croix. There weren't many chairs left on board and all the dancing on the top deck broke quite a few beams. What a blast." -M.M.
"Beej at the Red Carpet in St Cloud in 1982. This photo taken by my amazing boyfriend who is also a professional photographer! $3515 is all they need to make their new album and I need to get a newly updated photo of Beej, with me in it this time of course! 40 hours!" -J.B.
"Another favorite photo of my old collection of Suburbs pix. I enjoyed going to the shows and getting on stage or going back stage to capture history. This is Michael Halliday, shot the same night as the previously published Bruce Allen photo. Hope you guys enjoy the memories as much as I did capturing them!" -D.N.
"This is one of my favorite photos I took of Bruce back at the Cabooze a long time ago. It was probably around 1982. R.I.P Bruce Allen." -D.N.
"I worked at Shakey's on highway 7 in high school. Beej and the boys would pull through the drive-thru in his convertible Porsche for pizza all the time and I'd have a nice chat with them every time. A co-worker once asked, "aren't you The Suburbs?"...Beej got a wry little smile on his face and said, "No, we're The Beatles...I'm the shy one"." -T.A.
"Here is a sampling of my collection. You will notice I have four copies of Law is the Law. I’m one short. I had a plan. The plan was this: acquire five copies. Track down each member of the band and have them sign one copy. Frame them all and put them on the wall forever more. Damn, what a great record. I played the grooves off of my original LP. You can drop the tonearm on that first track and the needle skates to the end. Also pictured here: A flyer from First Ave. A PolyGram sampler with the tracks Love is the Law and Skin. And a still sealed 7 inch single with a price tag from Peaches Records. I have more but these are some of the gems." -W.O.
"Two years ago, home to see family and the band from the 2nd row. GREAT SHOW." -M.H.
"Best concert was at Lakeside in Waconia, circa 1986. Front row, Beej sweated on us all night, danced 'til we dropped. A buddy jumped on stage and did a stage dive, but the crowd parted and he landed on the floor. At the end of show, Hugo tossed his sticks to me and Bruce came over and handed me an unopened can of MGD. I still have both momentos from that night. Pure grooviness for a bunch of high school kids." -T.A.
"I've been listening to your guys' stuff non-stop in anticipation for the new album. Guaranteed it will be a future classic..." -B.M.
"Found a few of my Suburbs items! I know I've got tickets and other items from many, many shows! Cheers guys!" -R.W.
"I have too many memories, all great by the way! The ones that are the most amazing all reside at the Cabooze. The crowd singing every word, jumping up and down, and Beej hanging from the pipes on the ceiling. I definitely LIKE COWS!! First song released is a winner." -J.G.
"Only the first page of my Suburbs tix stubs from my collection of fantastic gems and jewels
for me and my kids to enjoy." -W.R.
"And from a pin - I'm not sure where I got it. The guys look a bit young!" -T.S.
"Here is my ticket stub from the last time I saw the Suburbs - August 26, 1987, the final show. It was the early show because it was all-ages. I remember walking out of First Avenue and people were lined up for the later show." -T.S.
From the SCSU archives... "And one of Bruce - thanks, guys!" -T.S.
"A couple of great photos from an April 1982 at a performance at St. Cloud State from their University Archives - the Replacements opened." -T.S.
"After hours St. Croix Boom Company back in the day. Recognize anyone?" -M.B.
"Flew in from NC for the show Saturday at the Cabooze. Had so much fun. Thanks for playing. Hope to see you again soon." -S.M.
"I remember about a hundred years ago (or so it seems) I was able to catch a Sunday night show with the 'Burbs at a bar in East Grand Forks, MN. It was a great show and getting up for class at UND the next day was pretty hard..... Ok, so I didn't make it to class the next day, ha! Maybe that's why I didn't finish school? I blame you guys haha! All kidding aside I can't wait for your new album!" -G.I.
"Ok. More stuff." -C.B.
Post any of your photos or great memories and tag our Facebook page!
Kickstarter Success! July 29 2013, 0 Comments
A heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to all the amazing fans that helped us meet our Kickstarter goal! 1,051 backers. That's incredible!
To see an overview of our campaign visit our Kickstarter page. In the meantime, we'll be hard at working making this new album happen. To sign up for updates enter your email below.
Why Kickstarter? July 24 2013, 5 Comments
Understandably, some people have raised questions regarding why we are asking fans to raise money for our new album and we wanted to take this opportunity to answer them.
Professional musicians earn money mainly by performing or selling their recorded music. Some have suggested that we pay for the album out of our gig money. Seems reasonable, however you have to understand: producing, marketing, and distributing studio-recorded albums is a completely different animal than producing live shows. They are distinct ventures that come with their own separate expenditures. When we do a gig we have to pay the musicians, the sound and lights, the hall rental, etc. When we make an album we have to pay the musicians, the studio rental, the engineer, the mixer and masterer, the manufacturer, the art designer, the distributor, the PR guy, the… I hope you get the picture. These two things are mutually exclusive of one another.
Others have questioned why we are asking for fans to both fund the album and then buy the music later. This is a misunderstanding. You are not paying for the album to be made and then ALSO buying it separately. With your Kickstarter pledge you get a CD and/or vinyl – and other merchandise - for your money. Payments on Kickstarter start at as little as $10 for a digital download of the album. Its pretty much commerce as usual, like you'd order it on ITunes or Amazon EXCEPT it benefits us a bit more in that there is no middleman (except the Kickstarter and Amazon Payments processing fees).
Sure, this "prepayment" model is attractive to us because it acts as a form of insurance that offsets the considerable costs of making a professional sounding album. Yes, we could invest our cash in the product and let the market play out as it may. But, Kickstarter exists for a very real reason: musician’s recorded product revenues from album sales have plummeted alarmingly, drastically and fatally over the last decade. To have the money in the bank before we go to pressing is nothing short of a miracle and a relief and we are more than happy this new crowd funding thing exists.
The zeitgeist has changed and people feel good about supporting the artists they love. They know that record labels aren’t the best thing for recording artists like us, and want to be supportive. But this is not asking for a handout. It’s simply a way for us to gather “pre-payments” for the record. On Kickstarter, you can buy the CD today and receive bonus tracks, or you can wait and buy it later through Amazon or ITunes where we will receive less, after Apple’s cut. Most importantly, all the while, we retain ownership and control of our music.
Please note: if we don’t reach our $65,000 goal, we don’t get any of the Kickstarter pledges. All pre-orders on Kickstarter will be null and void. Which will mean it’s time for Plan B. We start over from scratch.
I hope that answers any questions about our choice to go with Kickstarter and I hope that you are all as excited as us to complete this sucker so we can move on to the fun stuff!
3 Days Left to Kickstart The Suburbs' New Album July 22 2013, 0 Comments
Friends, we have raised over $54,000! Only $11,000 left to reach our goal. Help us push it past the finish line! 89.3 The Current has put our first single "Turn The Radio On" into it's rotation and fans in the Twin Cities are embracing it. Listen to it here.
If you've been planning on pitching in, wait no more. Do it NOW!
And please help SPREAD THE WORD. Post on Facebook, Tweet, send snail-mail, scream out your window. With your help we can cover the many expenses that come with producing and publishing an album - and YOU can get an advance copy along with 2 Kickstarter backer exclusive Bonus Tracks, exclusive swag, and other great prize packages.
With Gracious Thanks,
— Chan, Beej, Hugo, the Steves, the "Shower of Flowers" Horns, Buzzwell, And... the Entire Suburbs Family!
The Suburbs – Si Sauvage by Arthur Phillips July 12 2013, 9 Comments
It was true in 1986. It’s still true. Still true that they are the best, and still true—to my decades-old frustration and fury—that you, non-Minnesotan, have still not heard of them.
So I could just say, put on Si Sauvage, and you’ll hear what I’m talking about. Si Sauvage, their fifth full studio album, and their first in a mere 27 years: ten songs of pop, rock, dance, funk, punk, and something indefinably unique, identifiably Suburbs no matter the superficial genre. You’ll hear it in the cruel wit of “Si Sauvage,” in the weirdly thrilling esoteric anthem “This Monkey,” in the current of melancholy flowing under the pop of “Turn the Radio On,” in the wail and broken moan of “What’s It Like out There?”
Since their first EP in 1978 (the vinyl of which was, of course, bright red), The Suburbs have toyed with genres and forms, have pureed their influences and smashed their own personalities together, and consistently produced music that could only conceivably be their own. What happens if you cross funk and cowboy laments? Punk and bar-room piano? Punk and Dada? Dance music and creepy monologues about summer camp? The Suburbs.
The Suburbs sound like the band that used to open, appropriately, for The Talking Heads, REM, and the B-52’s. But also for Blondie. And also, equally appropriately, for Iggy Pop, come to think of it. Because they also sound like a band whose members were introduced in 1977 by the Suicide Commandos’ Chris Osgood, at that time “literally the only punk in Minneapolis.”
And, here, again, is the problem I’ve been running into since 1986. I want you to hear it all, and all at once, not to conclude anything about them until you know how much there is of them. I want to get it just right for you, make sure I have read you correctly before I tell you where to start, your customized introduction to the best band you’ve never heard of. Are you the sort of person who’s going to fall first for the catchy pop-rock? Then listen to “Born Under a Good Sign.” Wait though, wait. Maybe it’s the humor that will get you. So listen to “Dumb Ass Kids,” or “Si Sauvage” and the guy trying to compliment her record collection. But wait, maybe it’s—
Look, honestly, this is what it’s like to be a Suburbs fan. You grow up in Minneapolis in the 70s or 80s, when Minneapolis is suddenly the center of the musical universe, before Seattle, before Athens, and this musical renaissance is your birthright. The sonic produce of the polite Twin Cities from, say, 1977 to 1986 is astonishing. My sister recalls that the entertainment at her prom was Prince. The kids playing down in the warehouse basement, charging you a buck for beer, might have been The Replacements or Husker Du, Soul Asylum, The Suicide Commandos, The Jayhawks, The Hipsterz, or The Suburbs.
If you’re from here, you know that The Suburbs are obviously on the list of “Most Influential Minnesota Musicians of All Time.” You know that singer-songwriter-keyboardist Chan Poling was in Rake Magazine’s top 10 Minnesota Rockers alongside Prince, Bob Dylan, and Paul Westerberg. Every Minneapolis new-born and old-age pensioner knows The Suburbs’ most famous tune, 1983’s “Love Is the Law,” an unforgettable dance-rock confection—catchy horns, popping guitar lines, a strain of sadness just below the bouncing surface, and Chan Poling’s unmistakable baritone croon. (And it was no surprise this year when the song became the anthem for Minnesota’s marriage equality campaign.) You know all this like you know it’s cold outside.
But then you leave Minneapolis, leave the nights at the legendary First Avenue or the Longhorn, leave the circles where everyone knows every Suburbs song, where growing up meant associating that music to the most important moments of your life, and you find, to your astonishment, that outside the Midwest, people seem not to have heard of them. “You mean The Replacements?” they say. “No. I don’t. Listen to this.” And you play them Love Is the Law (1983). You play them Credit in Heaven (1981). You play them In Combo, a punk-blues-rock album culminating in a love song to cows. You wait until they get it. And they always got it, but for different reasons: some for the punk, some for the dance, some for the jokes, some for Chan’s crooning, some for Beej’s screaming, some for the haunting piano lines, some for Bruce Allen’s fingerprint guitar sound, some for the lust and some for the heartbreaking, indescribable ballads.
And that is precisely why you have never heard of The Suburbs: you can’t describe them for the one thing they do well. They don’t have a single persona, they have a personality. Or, really, several personalities coming together to make music they couldn’t possibly make alone.
In 1986, after ten years, after records with Mercury and A&M and Minneapolis’s iconic Twin/Tone, after amassing fans like Springsteen and, yes, the Replacements, after, peculiarly enough, playing on a softball team with The Human League, after marriages and kids and loss, the Suburbs called it quits—immortals in Minnesota, evergreen throughout the Midwest, but known and loved elsewhere only by the super-hip (and us émigrés).
And then, after death claimed guitarist Bruce Allen far too young, three of the band’s surviving founders—Chan Poling, guitarist-singer Beej Chaney, and drummer Hugo Klaers—looked out the window and found that their rabid audience had never left. And now, 27 years later, they’re different, older, wiser men, and the music is great, again, for all the old reasons and several new ones.
For Si Sauvage, Poling, Chaney, and Klaers needed to fill the huge space left by the late Bruce Allen, and they turned to guitarist Steve Brantseg, a national figure since the late 70s, including gigs with Robyn Hitchcock, ex-Replacement Tommy Stinson, and the Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls. For bass, Steve Price, a founding member of Rex Daisy, takes over from the retired Michael Halliday. The Suburbs sound is rounded out by the husband-wife sax section Max Ray and Rochelle Becker, and trumpeter Steven Kung.
And, for those of us who were worried, that Suburbs sound—older, wiser, but still infectious—is upfront on Si Sauvage. “Born Under a Good Sign” and “Turn the Radio On” are undoubtedly by the same guys who made First Avenue shake to “Love Is the Law” and “Rattle My Bones.” But there’s something more there, too. Those decades didn’t pass without cost. A love song by a man in his 50s is a very different beast than one by the same man in his 20s, and “Turn the Radio On” sounds unmistakably like a pop love song to a woman who isn’t there anymore.
So now the burning question is: where will the Suburbs now find the ideal, eclectic, witty, tasteful, high-energy and high-intelligence (non-Minnesotan) listeners who want punk speed married to melodic romance, booze-addled nostalgic heartbreak, pop, rock, dance, thrashing noise and complex harmony, naked lust, and deadpan agricultural humor? That question stymied at least two big labels who thought the Suburbs would make them piles, but I’m hoping, and betting, that the 21st century can do better.
After Si Sauvage gets her hooks in you, you’re going to have a lot of listening ahead of you, 86 other songs in the catalogue by my iPod’s count, and you’re going to enjoy the parallels and the discoveries. If I know you, I’d recommend you first check out… or, no, start with…. or, better yet, you should try…
Arthur Phillips, author of Prague, The Tragedy of Arthur, and other novels, is a Suburbs fan.
The Great Fans of The Suburbs: Keith Morioka July 11 2013, 3 Comments
Keith Morioka has been an avid Suburbs follower since he first heard the song Love is the Law at a YMCA dance when he was 16. His passion for the band has taken him from Hugo, Minnesota, where he first witnessed the electric atmosphere of a Suburbs concert, to Costa Mesa, California, where Keith found an official cassette of Love is the Law after long searching for one. “I felt like I found the Holy Grail that day.”
It is the extraordinary connection between the band and the fans that has made The Suburbs a staple in the hearts of so many music lovers, young and old. Keith proudly states, “The fans are passionate about the band and the band is passionate about the fans.” One of Keith’s favorite memories was when he attended the sold-out 1993 reunion show. Beej was stringing the guitar to its maximum decibel level before turning around on the edge of the stage and falling back into the crowd. “We sent Beej crowd-surfing. That’s the way The Suburbs do things."
Even through the twenty-seven year absence of a Suburbs album, Keith has carried hundreds of conversations with fellow Suburbs supporters, trying to one-up his friends on the best concerts and stories each individual shared with the 80s rock powerhouse. Heck, before his wedding the 1984 tune Love is the Law was played.
When the news appeared on his Facebook feed that The Suburbs were preparing to release a new album, the thrill and emotion that ran through Keith’s blood could not be described. He immediately contributed to the Kickstarter campaign and started to encourage his friends to do the same. “I so want this album to happen. Let’s get this thing done!”
Well Keith, it’s time to loosen up those vocal cords and lace up your party shoes because the party rocks on!
Keith with his collection of The Suburbs albums
Ticket Stubs from various Suburbs concerts
A collage of The Suburbs
WE WANT TO KEEP ON ROCKING! Please help fund The Suburb's first new album in 27 years, Si Sauvage. Learn more about the project and listen to our new song "Turn the Radio On" at our Kickstarter page!
Announcing Si Sauvage, The Suburbs First New Album in Nearly Three Decades - Due Out Aug 27, 2013 July 10 2013, 1 Comment
>> UPDATE August 27, 2013: Now available for purchase in our music store!
Cover art by Kii Arens
People who have heard advance mixes, say it sounds like a culmination of the entire history of the Suburbs, and thoroughly contemporary at the same time. It's surprisingly upbeat, with plenty of dance grooves, yet also contains the beauty of older songs like "Girlfriend" and "Spring Came."
It's mature AND fun, and it's obvious that the Suburbs audience has grown along with the band. Crowds are already cheering and singing along at recent shows to new songs like "Turn The Radio On." We're streaming it below so you can decide for yourself.
Join Our Kickstarter Campaign and Help Fund This New Album
We need your support to make this a reality. We're raising funds to self produce and publish this album. So tell your family, tell your friends, tell your cows. Share this link, post to Facebook, Tweet, send snail-mail, scream out the window. We are thiiis close to returning, we just need all your incredible help to make it reality!
Calling All Rockers!!
Help fund The Suburb's first new album in nearly three decades, Si Sauvage! Learn more about the project and listen to the first song "Turn The Radio On" at www.thesuburbsband.com/kickstarter. #kickstartmebaby #thesuburbs
Support our Kickstarter! June 28 2013, 0 Comments
Join us as we bring out a BRAND NEW Suburbs record.
10 new remarkable studio songs (and a couple bonus tracks for Kickstarter supporters).
Suburbs Fans are the best. They've really taken a "pride in ownership" of this unique Minneapolis band. They've gotten behind the band's incredible "Love Is The Law" campaign for marriage equality, they've packed the clubs and theaters, shared the songs, worn the band's indelible logo, and turned-on friends and family to The Suburbs nutty videos and Chan and Bruce and Beej's rocking, quirky, and lovely songs.
What better way for the band to raise the budget for the recording and promoting of their first new album in 27 years than to come directly to this great group of supporters who have grown and celebrated with them?
People who have heard advance mixes of some of the new stuff say it sounds like a culmination of the entire history of the Suburbs, and thoroughly contemporary at the same time. You'll hear the same energy in Hugo's drumming, the same gnarled and oddly sexy voices of Beej and Chan mining similar offbeat and humorous lyrical territory, yet tinged with a new depth and maturity lacking in the earlier recordings. (Life changes you, after all!) It's surprisingly upbeat, with plenty of dance grooves, yet also contains the beauty of older songs like "Girlfriend" and "Spring Came".
So why Kickstarter?
By now we've all heard the various sides in the battle for your entertainment dollar. We all pretty much understand the old music business model has changed, yes, but not the spirit or the intention of the makers or the fans. We keep making and listening to music.
The good news is that places like Kickstarter, where the music lover directly transacts with the artist, not only allows the artist the ability to afford to make his or her music the way they want, it inherently does away with a middle man, reducing waste and delivering good product at a cheaper rate, AND has the multiple benefit of actually adding value. If you haven't noticed yet, you get more stuff with your music on Kickstarter! T-shirts! House concerts! Signed posters and swag!
With your pre-orders and pledges we can pay for our own promotion, advertising, videos, marketing and publicity agents, touring costs, etc., not to mention the very best recording, mastering and manufacturing talent and facilities so the new songs sound as awesome as they can be.
Here's what we'd like you to do:
- Visit our Kickstarter page and watch the video. We made it just for you.
- Pick a prize level and donate. The skies the limit! Isn't this exciting?
- Tell your friends. The more the merrier!
The Suburbs Kickstarter Press Release June 27 2013, 0 Comments
Minneapolis Rock Group The Suburbs Announce First Album in 27 Years with Kickstarter
Legendary rock group returns to record first new album in almost three decades
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. —The Suburbs, the Minnesota-based rock group, have returned to record their first new album after a recording hiatus of 27 years and are reaching out to their fans for support in a Kickstarter campaign that will launch Wednesday, Jun 26 and go through Thursday, Jul 25.
The Suburbs represented Minnesota rock in the 1980s alongside The Replacements, Prince, Husker Du and Soul Asylum. The band recorded 6 albums, including two for Mercury/Polygram (featuring their signature song “Love Is The Law”) and A&M Records. They were featured on MTV and voted among the "100 Most Influential Minnesota Musical Entities of the Twentieth Century" by The Minneapolis Star Tribune. The band's mix of punk, dance music, and humor was ahead of the curve and has stood the test of time as their dedicated fans have proven.
"Suburbs Fans are the best. They've really taken a 'pride in ownership' in our band," said Chan Poling, lead singer and keyboard player for The Suburbs. "They've really gotten behind the incredible 'Love Is The Law' campaign for marriage equality, they've packed the clubs, they’re just great."
The Suburbs started a Kickstarter campaign to pursue their independence from the ever-changing music industry. Fans can pledge a range of dollar levels on The Suburb's Kickstarter campaign page and choose from a variety of experiences and gifts while pre-ordering the band’s brand new album SI SAUVAGE, which will include 10 new songs and is scheduled for release Aug. 27, 2013.
For more information about The Suburbs Kickstarter campaign or to make a donation, visit www.thesuburbsband.com/kickstarter. Connect with The Suburbs on Facebook and Twitter. Learn more about the band on The Suburb's website at www.thesuburbsband.com.
About The Suburbs
The Suburbs are an alternative punk rock, funk and new wave 80's band formed in 1977 from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Original band members consisted of Chan Poling, Bruce Allen, Michael Halliday, Hugo Klaers and Blaine John Chaney. The Suburbs released six albums between 1978-1986. During that time the band's popularity increased and gained a following that broke out of the Midwest and reached both coasts. Today, The Suburbs consist of three original members: Chan Poling, Hugo Klaers, Blaine John Chaney and two new members; Steve Brantseg on lead and rhythm guitars, and Steve Price on bass. The band's eighth album is scheduled to release late August.
Kickstarter Campaign Press Contact: Kaila Przymus 507-829-9795 TheSuburbsBandPR@gmail.com
MN State Fair Grand Stand June 21 2013, 0 Comments
Show Date: Friday August 30th
MORE NEWS! Two artists ADDED to the Aug. 30 MN Music On-A-Stick lineup: P.O.S. and The Suburbs!
St. Cloud, MN Show June 01 2013, 0 Comments
October 25 & 26 at 7:30
Main Floor and Front Balcony: $29, Side Balcony: $27, Rear Balcony: $25
The New Album May 18 2013, 3 Comments
Yes. The rumors are true. There is a new SUBURBS record in the works!
New songs written and performed by Chan, Beej and Hugo, with Steve Brantseg on guitar, Steve Price on Bass, Max and Rochelle on saxes, Stephen Kung on brass, and Aby Wolf and Janey Winterbauer on backup vocals.
Stay tuned here and on Facebook etc. to learn of it’s release, teaser tracks, videos and more.