Also out today is the reissue of Sweet Bird of Youth by The Rock*A*Teens, released on vinyl for the first time and including a bonus download of one of the band’s last shows before disbanding in 2002. The band is reuniting for a pair of sold out hometown shows at The Earl in Atlanta this weekend, with an east coast tour on deck this summer including a stop at Merge 25!
Chris Lopez composed and recorded the majority of Sweet Bird’s basic tracks on keyboards and guitar at Rob Gal’s studio, and then lugged the tape machine back to the band's Black Box rehearsal space at the end of Krog Street in Cabbagetown, GA to finish. During the next few months, things got peculiar (at least by Rock*A*Teens standards, that is). Band members Will, Justin, and Lopez would each go in on his own time and add his own flourishes to each track without the others’ knowledge. This unusual hands-off collaboration progressed for months during the spring of 2000. The ladies from Ultrababyfat (Shonali and Michelle) laid down Phil Spector-esque backup vocals on “If I Wanted to Be Famous (I’d Have Shot Someone),” and Shannon Wright sang an achingly spare duet with Chris on “It’s Destiny.” Anthemic. Majestic. Shimmering. Heart-aching brilliance. The Rock*A*Teens focused it all into Sweet Bird of Youth.
For further reading, make sure to check out The Rock*A*Teens interview on Aquarium Drunkard, where Chris Lopez discusses "November Rain", tales from tour, YouTubes of Elvis Costello, and the summer ahead.
Sweet Bird of Youth is available now in the Merge store, on Rdio, Amazon, Spotify, and at your favorite independent record store.
The Rock*A*Teens on tour:
Jun 06 Atlanta, GA — The Earl
Jun 07 Atlanta, GA — The Earl
Jul 12 Athens, GA — 40 Watt
Jul 24 Carrboro, NC — Merge 25 Festival @ Cat's Cradle
Aug 07 Philadelphia, PA — Johnny Brenda's
Aug 08 Boston, MA — Middle East Upstairs
Aug 09 Brooklyn, NY — Glasslands
Aug 10 New York, NY — Le Poisson Rouge