One of the most anticipated releases of the year so far in my neck of the woods is the new album from Durham, NC's Red Collar -- Welcome Home -- due out on 12 June. The band has built a rabid following based on their incendiary live shows and their two excellent releases -- 2007's The Hands Up EP and 2009's Pilgrim. I've seen a lot of Fugazi comparisons on the web, but my own sense is that while there's a definite Dischord Records vibe (both musically and politically), I hear more of an Americana-inflected Jawbox, or even Burning Airlines influence in there. They've posted a terrific new song called "American Me" over on Alternative Press. Go have a listen and then put this record on your half-Christmas list. Heck, you know it's going to be great just from the album cover.
After DIY-ing it all this time, they've just hooked up with the excellent Tiny Engines label for this one. Tiny Engines is home to a bushel basket of great bands, including one of my favorites from last year, Philadelphia's Restorations who'll be playing at the Red Collar release show (also with Cleveland's Signals Midwest and Durham's Maple Stave)on 19 May at Motorco in Durham. That's too good a lineup to miss, so I plan not to.
I suppose, that, having read two full paragraphs of my turbid prose (yes, turbid with a "b"), you think you deserve something. I'd tend to agree, so here's a nice concert video of a great older Red Collar tune, "Used Guitars".
Red Collar's page at Tiny Engines (if my mom were to read this post, she'd need this)