Who Those Boys?

28 11 2012

Why yes, as a matter of fact, that WAS a JCBUS poster on Nick’s bedroom wall on last night’s “New Girl”, starring Zooey Deschanel and our man Jake Johnson.

Quite a collection there too, as befitting a man of Jake’s fine tastes: Pass Kontrol, Wilco, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, and Bob motherfuckin’ Seger.

Props to Scott Williams for designing & shooting the “Want More” album cover.


Hunkering Down

9 10 2012

The Shady Bunch, Asbury Park, NJ, 08/16/12

It’s been a quiet few weeks since we wrapped up the “Want More” tour, we’ve been holed up at Uptown HQ, working on songs for the next record.  You’ve probably heard a few new cuts in the last few months, like “River” and “You’re Not Alone”

but now we’ve got a whole slew of stuff that really pushes things forward, a little darker, a little dancier, just further distilling what the sound of Uptown is in 2013.  We’ll be trying some things out live over the next two weeks, and then heading up to Montreal to record before the end of the year.  Come out and take a listen:

Can’t wait to return to the East Coast, where we’ll again be joined by Jeff Galusha the Legendary Tambo Man (as seen up top in the bottom row of our photo booth portrait from Asbury Lanes).  And in case you missed it, here’s our entire set from KEXP’s Music Lounge:

Gaga for Gehry

21 06 2012

Very excited to play Millennium Park tonight for Chicago Gospel Fest, at the incredible Frank Gehry-designed Pritzker Pavilion.  It’s the 2nd time the band has played here (my favorite venue in the city, and possibly the world, but I’ve never been to Red Rocks…), but this will be my 4th time on the stage:

  1. June 2007
    Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 played a free show, and Fela’s youngest son invited everyone up to dance.  Calamity ensued.
  2. July 2008
    After a lovely dinner at Tavern on the Park, my girlfriend and I rushed the (empty) stage, hopped two velvet ropes, and I proposed.  And then we were politely escorted off by security.
  3. September 2009
    Celebrating the European release of “Beat of Our Own Drum” and my impending nuptials, the band played at noon on a Sunday, for a healthy crowd of family, friends, tourists, and Jazz Fest early birds.
  4. June 2012
    Chicago Gospel Fest, here we come!- BT

Now It Can Be Told

17 04 2012

It was a rainy night in February when we took over a few rooms at the Ohio House in Chicago to shoot the “Sister Ray Charles” video.

Our original plan to film at the Tokyo Hotel (by all accounts, a wonderfully seedy place to set the action) fell through, and we had to scramble to find another suitable location at the last minute.  Billy called in some of his Second City pals (including Greg Hollimon from Strangers With Candy), our old friend Roper was there to help shoot video, and Noah Ginex brought Fernando to the party.  The rest of us then had about 8 hours to kill while the grown-ups filmed in the other room.  Did we mention that it was Kevin’s birthday and his present was a bottle of Jameson?  Photos by BT

It was tough sitting on these photos, since a good time was had by all, but we didn’t want to give away too much of the video (y’know, puppets, prostitution, swingin’ cops, etc.)  And luckily we made some friends over at Google during SXSW and they were nice enough to debut the video for us last week.

On the Road

12 03 2012

Our resident Ansel Adams, Mr. Kevin Marks, has been snapping away on our way to Austin:


4 03 2012

I love Austin, and I hate crowds.  So I’m feeling a little torn about the upcoming shit-show that will be South by South West 2012, AKA Music Biz Spring Break.  I feel like every where I look and go, it’ll be what my dad always referred to as “feeding time at the zoo“.  On the bright side, we’ve got a bunch of day parties and showcases to play.  We put off going for the first 5 years of the band since we didn’t want to get lost in the shuffle.  But since things have really been on the up and up, I think we’re in a good place to do this.  And we’re very fortunate that our benign label overlords at Bloodshot took care of getting us into the fest and finding us a hotel.  They did their part, now we have to do ours: kick ass when we’re on stage (9 shows and counting), and make friends when we’re off.  If that all goes smoothly (cross fingers, word on the street is that there’s no shortage of free booze), we can kick things up a notch and keep touring, recording, living the dream, etc.

I’ve got old friends in Austin, my wife & I went there on our honeymoon, I love swimming at Barton Springs, Shiner Bock is my beer of choice, I love migas tacos for breakfast, we’re escaping Chicago winter’s end-game, and after Austin, we head to Vegas for a week at the Cosmopolitan.  How can anything possibly go wrong?  – BT

BT @ Barton Springs, ATX, September 2009

Head of the Classy (NSFW)

6 02 2012

JCBUS drummer Kevin Marks is a man of refined tastes and a great lover of the visual arts…

We’ve been on the road quite a bit since September, traveling west, east and in between. Each city has been unique, be it the people, the food, the architecture or the weather, but I’ve found one common thread throughout. It’s not seen by everyone, just the lucky few who get to go deep inside the bowels of the wonderful music venues we’ve been so lucky to play. There is an amazing display of talent and creativity lurking in the back rooms of these venues. Now you would think that Rock & Roll, with all of it’s machismo, would be ripe with misogynistic imagery, but I was quite surprised to see that there is a softer side to this very American music. So now I present to you… my findings.  Enjoy!
(Warning: some images may contain… organs)