New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Old 97's

Posted by Amoebite, September 26, 2017 03:32pm | Post a Comment

Old 97's What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

The Texas band Old 97's were in good spirits during their recent visit to Amoeba Hollywood for a fun What's In My Bag? episode. "I got stuck on a bit of records that I couldn't stop listening to when I was 14 years old," confided lead singer Rhett Miller, before he pulled The Smiths' singles collection, Hatful Of Hollow, out of his Amoeba bag. Another high school favorite of was Fables Of The Reconstruction by R.E.M., which he used to play all night long in his sleep by tricking the turntable's arm into restarting the record once it ended. "I'm making my kids endure the records that I loved from my childhood," he revealed. The longtime bandmates had an easy rapport and camaraderie, levying wisecracks at each other about what they'd picked up.

Formed in Dallas in 1993, Old 97's are an American alt-country band consisting of Rhett Miller, Murry Hammond, Ken Bethea, and Philip Peeples. The band's first LP, Hitchhike to Rhome, set them off on a Old 97's Graveyard WhistlingUS tour which led them to Chicago, where they caught the eye of Bloodshot Records. The band inked a deal with the label for the release of their next album, 1996's Wreck Your Life. In turn this release garnered attention from Elektra Records, who released a string of LPs from Old 97's: Too Far to Care (1997), Fight Songs (1999), and Satellite Rides (2001).

Remarkably prolific, the band have released a steady stream of records over the course of the past two decades. Their first "greatest hits" collection arrived in 2006 with the release of Hit by a Train: The Best of Old 97's. A vinyl-only retrospective of their work for Bloodshot, Wreck Your Life... And Then Some: The Complete Bloodshot Recordings, came out in 2009. Four years later, the band released Old 97's & Waylon Jennings, an EP featuring demo recordings from 1996 plus two contemporaneously recorded duets with Waylon Jennings. The most recent release from Old 97's is Graveyard Whistling, which came out in February 2017.

Lead guitarist Ken Bethea starts with his favorite piece of of pop culture: Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown's Holiday Hits. "I listened to it all the time," he says of the classic animated Peanuts cartoon soundtrack. Bassist Murry Hammond grabbed a CD from the avant-garde duo Stars of the Lid, who he got obsessed with a few years ago, calling them "monsters of ambient music." Hammond also had to pick up a record by Allah-Las, having formed a friendship with the bassist, Spencer Dunham, during his days working here at Amoeba. Miller also found the audiobook of Under The Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk, compiled by X's John Doe and Electra A&R man, Tom DeSavia.

But which Stones record did Rhett Miller correctly predict Ken Bethea would choose? And what '60s garage band does Murry Hammond call "so raw and so rockin'?" You'll have to watch the video below to find out:

Old 97's - What's In My Bag?
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