Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Eric Howell - “Zookeepers” and “45”


Just a quick note before moving on to Mr. Howell’s new single. Phil Angotti, Jim Barclay, and Casey McDonough will be performing an acoustic version of the Squeeze Singles - 45s and Under album at Reggie’s on State Street in Chicago tomorrow night at 9:00 PM. I saw Angotti perform Squeeze songs a few years back as part of a Halloweekend Show at the Abbey Pub, and he did Difford and Tilbrook proud.

Eric Howell, a Chicago-based singer-songwriter and radio producer whose debut album Greatest Hitch! Vol 1 is still highly regarded among power pop aficionados, has just released a new single as a preview to his upcoming album Music On The Bones. Now working under the moniker King Mixer,  he’s joined on the A Side “Zookeepers” by drummer Nick Kitsos, guitarist Grant Tye, bassist Young Jake Crowe, and keyboards players Matt Nelson and Christian Cullen. It’s a fable about trying to navigate a troubled world (or possibly an after-world) laced with striking imagery of a media darling/femme fatale, fallen angels, and runaway nukes. “Zookeepers” is set to an engaging, mid-tempo arrangement and leaves listeners to ponder the question, “What if weve already been saved, and all of this is a paradise that we blew up?”

The B Side “45” is slightly less ominous and moves to an energetic power pop beat with rough-hewn vocals that are reminiscent of Mott The Hoople’s Ian Hunter. Crafted by King Mixer, Young Jake Crowe, Christian Cullen, and drummer Mike Frumlee, this catchy look at how time spins like a vinyl record is actually the more impressive of these two new songs. Both are available online and will be for sale at King Mixer’s upcoming live gigs.

And one final note: Today is Eric Howell’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Eric!

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