To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their classic album Deserter’s Songs, Mercury Rev announce an October run of dates in the US. The tour kicks off with a slot at the Desert Daze Festival October 12-14.
Following that the band have confirmed the following shows:
- Tuesday, October 16 ~ The Chapel ~ San Francisco, CA ~ Tickets
- Thursday, October 18 ~ Mississippi Studios ~ Portland, OR ~ Tickets
- Friday, October 19 ~ Tractor Tavern ~ Seattle, WA ~ Tickets
Mercury Rev will be touring Europe this spring where they are set to play intimate and acoustic shows with a particular focus on towns in Ireland and Scotland in which they've rarely performed. For the tour Mercury Rev will perform Deserter’s Songs from start to finish in the fragile “whisper and strum” that they were originally written.
Deserter’s Songs was released to huge worldwide acclaim in 1998. The LP merged jazz, folk and 60s rock with Disney soundtrack fantasia and heralded Mercury Rev’s rebirth as purveyors of a cosmic brand of the popular American songbook. Rolling Stone’s Album Guide gives it 4 stars and Entertainment Weekly called it, “the art-rock album of the year” (A-). Pitchfork have noted, “The album's considerable critical success practically spawned a sub-genre of its own, with subsequent releases by the Flaming Lips, The Delgados, and Grandaddy all hewing to a similar balance of lyrical intimacy and orchestral expanse…” It was named album of the year by NME, MOJO and many other publications.
Of Deserter’s Songs Jonathan Donahue notes: “By the time we began to surface following the destruction of the mid 90's there was no longer anyone of the band 'in the band'. It felt as though Grasshopper and I were just these two see-through phantoms banging around at night in my attic, bumping into a melody here and there, strumming on the last of my guitars not in hock, pressing pray and record on the old 8 Track reel to reel. We had no management, no label, no money and to be completely honest, no one clamoring for a new Rev album anywhere in the world. In fact, on the 2" tapes during the late recordings Dave Fridmann didn't write Mercury Rev and instead he used the name Harmony Rockets, a then recent experimental side project of ours. The way we saw it, Deserter's wasn't going to be our next album… it was going to be our last. And likely only released on cassette to our friends... In fact, the only copy i've kept of Deserter's Songs from that time is on cassette. If anything, these upcoming live shows are by far the closest in spirit and nature to the original writing of that time. Near silent, apprehensive, fragile to the point of 'touch it and it turns to dust'. So full of self-doubt. The melancholy many hear on the album went in to album from the start, maybe long before it.”