Thursday, May 30, 2019

Titus Andronicus Return with "STACKS" [PILOT EPISODE] & "STACKS ON STACKS: The Official S+@CKS After-Show" Q&A (Merge Records)

Over the years, Patrick Stickles-helmed Titus Andronicus have unleashed quite the expansive, genre-eschewing back catalog-worth of music; for me, personally, it all started with 2012's Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band-evocative Local Business. Titus Andronicus—often, affectionately referred to as simply "+@"—have since released a cascading 29-track "Punk" Rock Opera, The Most Lamentable Tragedy, a 2016 live album, S+@dium Rock: Five Nights at The Opera, and most recently, Folk Rock/Acoustic opus, A Productive Cough. In-between said releases, +@ have meticulously trickled out a gaggle of official/"unofficial" non-cannon releases, such as their mail-order SEVEN SEVEN INCHES series, Titus Andronicus, LLC Mixtape, Vol. 1, Lil' Wayne-referencing +@ LLC MIXTAPE, VOL. 2A: SORRY ABOUT THE DELAY, Titus Andronicus Mixtape, Volume III: A Reductive Scoff, and spook-tacular "Home Alone (On Halloween)" 12-inch. Titus Andronicus have somehow (un)surprisingly already returned with a new album, An Obelisk, set to drop Friday, June 21, 2019 on Merge Records.

Patrick Stickles & Co. have quietly dropped two pre-album singles from Bob Mould-produced An Obelisk, "(I Blame) Society" and "Tumult Around The World," although, now, have already returned with "the pilot episode of "Prestige" [Situational] Comedy, STACKS." "STACKS" is, supposedly, a long-standing nickname for +@ frontman Patrick Stickles, or amongst close friends, "Paddy Stacks." Coinciding with the debut/pilot episode of STACKS, Stickles partook in a comprehensive Vulture interview with columnist Justin Joffe fittingly titled Why Titus Andronicus Made Its Very Own Sitcom Pilot. It's definitely inspired by Seinfeld, MARON, Crashing, Arrested Development, and Curb Your Enthusiasm and STACKS follows a "day-in-the-life" of a semi-fictionalized version of Paddy Stacks, "as he attempts to navigate a "heightened" reality, where the perils and pitfalls of the modern music industry take on nightmarish proportions." I won't give too much away, but STACKS [PILOT EPISODE] co-stars Patrick Stickles' fellow Titus Andronicus bandmates Liam Benson, R.J. Gordon, and Chris Wilson. Plus, former/part-time +@ players Matt "Money" Miller & Cary Kehayan and Shea Stadium/Records Founder Alexander "Orange Drink" Levine of The So So Glos.

Again, without giving too much away, bartender Matt "Money" Miller, who previously provided lead vocals on "Home Alone (On Halloween)" appears at about the 16:45-minute mark as part of 2 Guys Rappin' his supposed Hip-Hop crew with Stickles from high school. In addition to previously released single, "Tumult Around The World," STACKS features two previously unreleased An Obelisk tracks, "Troubleman Unlimited" and "Just Like Ringing a Bell;" there's, also, separate music videos for "Just Like Ringing a Bell," "Tumult Around The World" & "Troubleman Unlimited" excerpted from STACKS. If you're really into the fully-immersive experience, last night's live fan interactive Q&A with Paddy Stacks himself, of course, titled "STACKS ON STACKS: The Official STACKS After-Show" is now streaming on YouTube, as well. Titus Andronicus' "(I Blame) Society," "Tumult Around The World" and "Just Like Ringing a Bell" / "Troubleman Unlimited" from An Obelisk are now available on your digital streaming service of choice. Also, make note: tickets for the staggering 63-date Titus Andronicus Autumn 2019 Tour go on sale this Friday, May 31st.

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