Mike Doughty Plays Soul Coughing’s "Ruby Vroom"
638 South State Street
Salt Lake City, UT, 84111
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Mike Doughty, the singer, songwriter, producer, author and founder of seminal 90’s band Soul Coughing will be playing their debut LP Ruby Vroom in full across the U.S. in 2019.
Doughty will be joined on these dates by a cellist, bassist, and guitar player. While they will be performing Ruby Vroom in its entirety, in the original sequence, what the audience experiences will be different each night. “When I was looking for something to do between album cycles I decided to tour Irresistible Bliss in full” explains Doughty. “It was incredibly fun forcing myself to work within that structure. The decisions you make when putting together a set list are different from the ones you make when sequencing a record. This is like performing a single, hour-long piece of music.”
Rather than an exact replication of the studio recording, Doughty plans to use a variety of cues and hand signals to adjust the performance in real time. “Live we turn into a musical super-organism. We’re basically doing a real-time remix of the record at each show” tells Doughty. “It won’t not be a note-for-note performance. I’m very proud of the record we made; it’s the sonic embodiment of lower Manhattan in the early 1990’s. Yet there’s a whole other version of this record that lives in my head. I’m extremely excited to see how it evolves night after night.”
Doughty has released 11 solo albums in the 21st Century, including Haughty Melodic and Stellar Motel, and a memoir, The Book of Drugs (he’s currently writing a second one). He makes electro tracks under the names UUL and Dubious Luxury; his opera Revelation was staged in conjunction with WNYC; he’s currently writing songs with Wayne Kramer from the MC5. He recently posted his 100th weekly new song for his Patreon subscribers. And, finally, he has three improvised-music bands in Memphis, where he lives: Moticos, Baby Men, and Spooky Party.
It’s a special time for music; not too much of it sticks and when it does well, it usually isn’t everyone’s cuppa.
“We really don’t run into people who don’t like “Dirtbag,” including us,” Wheatus frontman, producer & songwriter brendan b brown says whilst fiddling with a vacuum tube that reads “Made In West Germany”. It seems that Wheatus do indeed still love playing their multi-platinum, ubiquitous 2001 classic “Teenage Dirtbag.”
“I grew up idolizing Rush & AC/DC. Bands that last forever… One of the fears I had when “Dirtbag” kicked-off was that it would get old quick or be received as a fad… I was wrong to worry about that. It feels new every night. I think that’s because it’s hard to play correctly, but what the hell do I know? Every time we come over to the UK & Europe to tour I think, 'Well, after THIS ONE we'll take a break, make Album 7.' It's been 3 years saying that. We just keep getting asked to come back. The vibe from people wanting to come see us hasn't given us any excuse to stay home...”
The "Album 7" that brown mentions is written & waiting to be tracked, 20 plus songs. According to brown, it's quite heavy at times, with sonic odes to the 1988 seminal Metallica masterpiece, ‘...And Justice For All.’
"I've been drawn back to the sonic impact of that record. I wore it out when I was 14 and Metallica were the second band that I ever saw live that year. My left ear still rings a bit more than my right because of where I was standing. Their cover of the Budgie song “Breadfan” REALLY drove my mom nuts. Probably because I played along to it at top volume every day for two months. Obviously I'm not writing like them or Budgie and couldn't if I wanted to, but those sonics broke every rule back then & I wanna see where that sort of engineering takes us… And there's also lots of acoustic droning on the record that I intend to try warping in a new way. Oooh and a song I wrote with my friend James Bourne that's starts with the letter "Z." I'm very excited to finally record this album."
If Wheatus weren't already established as a genre-less band, Brown’s next statement ends that debate…
"It's gonna be fun - we'll be an unsigned independent band with a worldwide Top 5 old-skool major label classic radio single making a heavy prog-pop record funded by One Direction cover royalties and Flemming Rasmussen will be the primary production influence. Right!"
The bespectacled Wheatus frontman is of course referring to the experience of being covered by the largest touring act in the world, One Direction. Throughout 2013-2014, the mega-platinum arena pop act included “Teenage Dirtbag” in their live set and their subsequent concert film, ‘This Is Us.’ It was a boost for Wheatus.
"Ah man it was great - suddenly all these kids wanted to know what our songs were about... They started coming to the shows... I collaborated with Josh & Sandy. We have an EP due out this year, an actual side project. It's all been pretty cool, for an older independent act to get a youth culture reboot like that. Josh introduced me to Janet Devlin & Ollie Green and I wrote some songs with them which we'll be finishing up soon. And the Twitter thing has been awesome. Those kids are fun... And A LOT smarter than people give them credit for. I mean, they oversee Number One single releases for 1D. What the hell even is that?"
Youthful enthusiasm aside, it has not been an easy go for brown & crew. They scraped recording & touring budgets together by selling last year’s gear on e-Bay.
“It’s an interesting paradox that people won’t buy music, but they still buy the stuff to make it and that we can carry on that way. Together, we found a way forward. I still can’t believe it started fifteen years ago though… That’s hard to imagine for a song that continues to be renewed. We owe a debt to that debut album and to the people who remember us. Now lemme get back to rehearsal so we can get it right!”
So yes, at least one band from before the days of iTunes & Spotify have found a way forward...
And forward they come, opening for Busted on a full arena tour of the UK & Ireland in spring 2016 plus their own headline UK & Irish club dates too, where they will play their entire million-selling eponymous debut album plus songs from their 2nd, 3rd, 4th 5th, 6th & 7th albums as well.