The internet is failing me lately. I didn’t realize that Micah Schnabel of Two Cow Garage had a new solo album out until I heard a song on satellite radio in the car. That’s not how this is supposed to work, guys. I should know about these things before the dorky programmers for “The Spectrum” (the channel for old white guys like me who still care about guitar music).
The song I heard was “Oh, What a Bummer” and it’s really great. Like all of Schnabel’s best music, both solo and with Two Cow, it makes you sad and it makes you smile. And you end up just wanting to give the kid a hug and buy an extra t-shirt from him so hopefully he can spend the night in a motel instead of his van after the show. “My parents still buy me my socks and underwear for Christmas / Want a tattoo on my face but it would break my mother’s heart / And I’m trying to act natural, can you tell that I am nervous? / I’m just trying to make it through this life without falling apart.”
Of all the bands we’ve championed here on Glorious Noise over the past 16 years, I can’t think of any that deserve wider recognition as much as Micah Schnabel and his Two Cow Garage. I don’t know of any musician who has worked harder, toured more relentlessly, or written half as many heartbreaking, ass-kicking, bottle-waving, righteous shitkickers as Micah Schnabel has in the 14 years we’ve been following him. If you like having good things in the world, support them however you can.
This video is pretty funny. Micah from Two Cow Garage plays the grouchy bus driver while the band sings of the joys of a cross-country touring. The vocals might seem a little put on at first, but they’re from Florida so I guess they can get away with singing like hillbillies.
“Thirteen Miles to Empty” is available on Mergers and Acquisitions, out now on Suburban Home.
February 3 Islander – Pawleys Island, SC
February 4 Slims – Raleigh, NC
February 7 The Well – Knoxville, TN
February 8 One Stop – Asheville, NC
February 9 Melting Point – Athens, GA
February 11 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
February 17 – The Nick – Birmingham, AL
February 22 – White Water – Little Rock, AK
February 24 – City Tavern – Dallas, TX
February 25 – Lambert’s – Austin, TX
Looks like the guys in Two Cow are going New Wave. Not really, but they’ve added horns and a piano and a skinny white tie. Great song though! In fact, they’ve written a perfect pop song here with its references to “the Xes on the back of your hands.” This is the hookiest song I’ve heard in a long time, and I just can’t stop playing this video. The chorus is going to get stuck in your head, so beware: “Lydia, you’re much too young / to have your teeth on the tip of my tongue / If your lips were a little bit older…”
Shot by Whiskey Bender Productions for Glorious Noise during a solo/acoustic performance at Beat Kitchen in Chicago on January 7, 2010. Micah Schnabel is the singer-songwriter-guitar player for one of GLONO’s favorite bands, Two Cow Garage. We’ve been gushing about them for years, and now Micah’s got a solo album, When The Stage Lights Go Dim, out now (or coming soon?) on Suburban Home.
I spent about ten minutes clicking around Google and the Suburban Home website and I can’t figure out how to buy the damn thing. Maybe it’s out of print already, and maybe they’ll reissue it, but there’s not much info online.
Anyway, he just wrapped up a solo acoustic tour, and the whole band is hitting the road in March. We’ve got a couple more live videos after the jump, including another song from When The Stage Lights Go Dim plus a great Bruce Springsteen cover off Nebraska.
Two Cow Garage‘s Shane Sweeney talks to (614) Magazine about touring non-stop for eight years, including their recent jaunt with the Hold Steady:
[H]e told us of one of his favorite moments on tour, when he turned to the Hold Steady’s bassist Galen Polivka one night on the bus after the show, quietly thanking him for “being cool” to the band.
“I was like, ‘Man, thanks for being good dudes and being nice to us, ’cause you didn’t have to,'” he said. “He was like, ‘Uh, Shane, I’m 39 years old, I’ve been playing in a band since I was 15, and this is the only successful one I’ve ever been in. I’m just a dude.'”
If any band deserves a break, it’s Two Cow Garage. They’re such great guys, and their live shows are so fucking good. Check them out when you get a chance. Odds are they’re coming soon to a town near you.
The Hold Steady have invited GLONO faves Two Cow Garage on a leg of their upcoming October tour. Two Cow Garage gladly accepted, continuing to tour in support of their latest release, Speaking In Cursive (Suburban Home Records).
TWO COW GARAGE TOUR DATES (all with THE HOLD STEADY):
10/17 – St. Olaf College – Northfield, MN
10/18 Fargo Theater – Fargo, ND
10/19 The Railyard Ale House – Billings, MT
10/20 The Filling Station – Bozeman, MT
10/21 The Big Dipper – Spokane, WA
This is a great opening slot for a band we love dearly. Here’s hoping it leads to bigger and better things.
Stream Speaking in Cursive now from Suburban Home Records:
I briefly met Michael Dean Damron when he opened for Two Car Garage at Dante’s in downtown Portland. He’s a great hairy beast of a man who leans into the mic as he belts out dusty ballads and scornful tales. He rides close to his heroes, including Steve Earle, Alejandro Escovedo, Townes Van Zant and Waylon Jennings. His voice is of the same timbre and abrasion as Two Cow’s Micah Schnabel’s, but Damron has clearly put more miles on.
His one sheet say Damron, “spent the first half of this decade cutting his teeth on the finer points of delivering sermon-like epithets and exposing his own personal demons that has resulted not only in an impressive body of work but the art of truth telling, for better or worse.” That truth certainly rings through on crushers like “Angels Fly Up.”
Michael Dean Damron served as the former frontman for I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House through four albums and several tours. While he may no longer carry that moniker, I don’t doubt he could still hold his own against most any SOB.
Glorious Noise Interview with Shane Sweeney, Two Cow Garage May 3, 2009
GLONO has been keeping tabs of Columbus, Ohio’s Two Cow Garagesince 2003. They epitomize today’s working band and everything we love about live music. They’re also great guys and so like their big brothers and sisters, we like to make sure they’re OK out there.
GLONO last saw Two Cow Garage on a Sunday night in Portland, Oregon at a downtown rock club called Dante’s that hosts an “industry night” for local service staff. The idea of an industry night with drink specials for those who deliver the rest of us our Bud Light and Slippery Nipples is nothing new. What is interesting is that Dante’s service night focuses on the VERY healthy sex industry in Portland.
Great to see you guys at Dante’s Sinferno night in Portland. Tell me again about the first time you played that venue on that night.
We were told that it was an early set and all of our gear had to be off stage by exactly 10:30 because there was a burlesque show afterward. Things like that happen all the time, and it was a Sunday, so I didn’t think anything about it being early or rushed. So we played and as soon as we had loaded off stage they mopped it, and put up a stripper pole. Needless to say our Midwestern modesty was not prepared for Sinferno night. People breathing and swallowing fire, go-go dancers in cages above the bar. Naked women in the green room. It was like something out of a Motley Crue video.
How is touring these days? How many dates are you averaging?
Touring is touring you know. Things gradually get better in places and some places probably never will. I’m not really sure how many dates we’re doing these days, not as many as we used to. We’ve gotten to the point where we can pick and choose a bit more, as opposed to just taking whatever shows come our way.
Suburban Home/Vinyl Collective has announced its new Under The Influence Series where they’ve asked several bands to record cover songs that have influenced their songwriting. They’re being released as split 7″ singles that will include coupons to download mp3s. Cool idea.