Both The Whigs and Eliot Lipp have proved beloved to the BTR DJs, and both have new albums in 2008. While the new Whigs record has been out since January 22nd (currently in heavy rotation), Eliot Lipp’s latest effort isn’t due out until April 8th, so the gnashing of teeth can’t stop just yet. Still, new records means new tours, and the shows put on by these two heavyweights are not something you want to miss.
Let’s see how it’s going…
When BTR was but a blip on the vast expanse of the Internet, selections from The Whigs’ debut album Give ‘Em All A Big Fat Lip could be heard just about all the time, regardless of what DJ had command of the speakers that day. This was impressive, because even though the music library at that time was small, it was nevertheless rare for all the DJs to agree on any one band. The Whigs, as you might have guessed, were one of those select few, and they popped up on different playlists like clockwork, no matter who the DJ was.
To celebrate, The Whigs have embarked on a lengthy North American tour, which is to be expected from any strapping band with a strong following and a fresh record under their belt.
The thing is, The Whigs have been doing tours like this since 2005.
“I’m essentially a truck-driver who plays guitar before he goes to bed,” says Parker Gispert, lead guitarist and vocalist for The Whigs. “Lots of driving, lots of cities I’ve never been to, and many memorable nights. I’m having fun.”
To pass time during the six or so odd hours on the road every day, Gispert reports that the band is reading a bevy of books and listening to a lot of different rock music, though The Rolling Stones and M. Ward stay in constant rotation.
You can actually hear a live performance from The Whigs recorded at The Hitone Cafe in Memphis, Tennessee, thanks to BTR’s Rachelinthecity, by clicking here.
You may notice that Gispert sounds a tad scratchy.
“The tour has been smooth, other than the fact that I’ve been super sick,” says Gispert. “It started out as just a regular cold, but I’ve been getting worn out.”
“It segued into about a month-strong of hives,” he adds. “Itchy.”
Indeed, the road can be brutal on one’s health. Still, if there is a band that can both persevere and conquer, it has to be The Whigs. They’ve already gone through one van, and if they keep on keeping on like they have been, it won’t be long until the new one craps out.
Dates throughout the South and Midwest alongside The Spinto Band, Wax Fang, Tulsa and Wild Sweet Orange are on the docket throughout February, including a recording for Late Night with Conan O’Brien on the 20th.
March finds The Whigs performing with My Morning Jacket and Yo La Tengo during SXSW, after which they’ll take off with Drive By Truckers for a few weeks.
When asked what he was more excited about, SXSW or Conan O’Brien, Gispert was torn.
“I really can’t say. Getting to play with My Morning Jacket and Yo La Tengo at SXSW is certainly the show I’ve looked forward to the most since we’ve been a band. But we’ve never done Conan and it is my favorite show on TV, so I don’t know. I’m going to have a surreal few weeks. I am pumped!!!!”