Every time I drop change into the guitar case of a street performer, I wish them luck. And not just the kinda luck that makes them a couple more busking bucks then usual, I’m talking about the kind of luck that puts them in the right place at the right time, cause I’m a firm believer that stuff like that happens. Because it does.
On August 23rd 1981, three dudes were doing their thing on a street corner in Milwaukee. One minute they’re playing music for money and the next they’re playing music for the headlining band at a sold out show at the Oriental Theatre. Fast-forward to present day, and those dudes are now femmes, Violent Femmes, and they are just about ready to knock off some North American tour dates, as of May 2nd.
A headlining tour, a brand new album and a single, Memory, that’s already being dubbed a classic, I’d say the Violent Femmes, aren’t just back, they’re picking up from where they left off.
“We’ve always done what we wanted and how we wanted,” Gordon Gano says. “Fundamentally there’s no difference from then until now. It’s a natural continuation.”
Last month the Femmes graced the stage of CBS’ Late Show With Stephen Colbert. With a charcoal grill as their percussion of choice, and a super stoked Stephen Colbert, patiently waiting in the wings to belt out his part to Blister in the Sun, Violent Femmes appeared to be nothing short of what you’d expect- fun, inventive, folky-punk Femmes.
Released only two weeks ago, We Can Do Anything is their first studio album in over fifteen years, and was recorded last year during the seven week North American Last Summer On Earth 2015 Tour, where they traveled alongside the Barenaked Ladies, and in doing so scored the artistic talents of Kevin Hearn, who not only stepped off his own Barenaked tour bus to play for the Femmes, but also drew the cover art for We Can Do Anything. Sweet deal.
Gano dove deep into the archives of old journals and cassette demos to complete the track listing for the new album.
“There was a massive amount of material to draw from, I had so many cassette tapes, with songs with musical ideas recorded over 20 years or more,” he says. “We did a whole lot of compiling and discovering of forgotten songs,” something a true Violent Femmes fan can appreciate and anticipate.
The album affirms that the raw rambunctious one of a kind sound that Violent Femmes birthed all those years ago, is alive and well and kicking all ass on a North American headlining tour, with additional dates still to come. With all their recent success, We Can Do Anything seems a little too perfect of an album title, for these busy boys.
For concert dates and sweet band swag visit the official Violent Femmes website.