In between a slew of tour dates that start in Vancouver, go through Denver next week and finish up with festivals dates in June, Chicago’s Smith Westerns are slated to play SXSW 2011 from 3/16 – 3/19.
With a fresh release, Dye It Blonde (Fat Possum), and after a fairly large European tour with MGMT, the threesome is getting more aggressive at spreading the Smith Western vibe.
As the sophomore album and four years after the band’s formation by Max Kakacek and Cullen Omori, Dye It Blonde paves a wider road to recognition. The album seems to put the notion of love and admiration on the altar at a time when romance is either made to be commercial equity to sell product or a fleeting emotion that leads to disaster and tabloid headlines.
The sheer optimism Dye It Blonde delivers is truly infectious, giving inspiration to “The Art of Living Life in an Uptight World.”
With a church-esque organ intro and whiskey drunk lead guitar, the cadence of “All Die Young” floats with John Lennon’s ghost and his ode to Yoko. “Still New” lives up to its name, pouring over with the excitement of being freshly in love, the delusions of grandeur and all the butterflies in the stomach that bat about the head, knocking you into next Tuesday.
If you think Trix and skipping is for kids, try to resist the urge to regress to the carefree days of your childhood when “End of the Night” hits the player, as the vocals and orchestration create a whirlwind of gaiety. Same goes for “Smile” – a perfect driving tune to blast loudly with windows down, even if it’s 20 degrees outside.
Unequivocally, the band members, including Cameron Omori, Cullen’s brother who plays bass, have come into their own since they were first learning how to maneuver around the guitar fret and drum kit. The net has been spread wider to embrace gorgeous keyboard lines and an angelic vocal style that breaths life into the lyrics and Smith Western persona.
Dye It Blonde has been available on Fat Possum since January 18, 2022, having been produced by Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, !!!, TVOTR, Beach House, etc.) in New York City. Smith Westerns’ self-titled debut, originally released in 2009 on the Chicago label HoZac, is also available on Fat Possum.
Smith Westerns’ SXSW showcase is on Wednesday, March 16 at 10:15pm at Stubb’s with other dates expected to be announced.
Additional Smith Western tour dates:
02/16 Vancouver, BC – Biltmore Cabaret %
02/17 Seattle, WA – Crocodile Cafe %
02/18 Boise, ID – Neurolux %
02/19 Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court %
02/21 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge %
02/22 Kansas City, MO – The Record Bar %
02/23 Omaha, NE – Waiting Room %
02/24 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club %
02/25 Madison, WI – The Frequency %
02/26 Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle % -SOLD OUT-
02/28 Toronto, Ontario – Legendary Horseshoe Tavern %
03/01 Montreal, Quebec – La Sala Rossa %
03/02 Boston, MA – Great Scott %
03/03 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge % -SOLD OUT-
03/04 Washington, DC – Rock and Roll Hotel %
03/05 Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory % -SOLD OUT-
03/16 – 03-19 Austin, TX – SXSW
04/25 New York, NY The Bowery Ballroom
04/26 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda’s
04/28 Baltimore, MD Ottobar
04/29 Raleigh, NC Kings Barcade
04/30 Atlanta, GA Masquerade
05/02 Montgomery, AL Montgomery Performing Arts Centre #
05/03 Mobile, AL Saenger Theatre Mobile #
05/04 Birmingham, AL Bottle Tree !
05/05 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack’s
05/06 Houston, TX Verizon Wireless Theater #
05/07 Denton, TX University of North Texas Main Auditorium #
05/08 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom #
05/11 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall
05/21 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern ^
05/22 Pomona, CA The Glass House ^
05/24 Hollywood, CA The Music Box ^
05/25 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore ^
05/29 Quincy, WA Sasquatch Festival
06/03 Columbia, MO The Blue Note ^
06/06 Detroit, MI Majestic Theatre ^
06/09 – 06/12 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo
# = w/ Wilco
% = w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
! = w/ Jeff The Brotherhood
^ = w/ Yeasayer