The Polyphonic Spree will begin a North American tour Sept. 19 in the evangelistic 20-plus member choir's home base of Dallas. The 20-city trek closes with a Nov. 23-24 stand in San Diego.

The Polyphonic Spree will begin a North American tour Sept. 19 in the evangelistic 20-plus member choir's home base of Dallas. The 20-city trek closes with a Nov. 23-24 stand in San Diego.

One-man band Corn Mo will open all of the Spree's headlining shows. The Starlight Mints will also be featured on dates through Oct. 7 in Chicago, while the Sleepy Jackson will join the tour once it picks up again Nov. 10 in Louisville, Ky.

Among the dates of tour's first leg is a previously announced Sept. 21 performance as part of the Austin City Limits Music Festival in the Texas capitol.

Along with recent music and mainstream press coverage, the positively sunny Spree has been gaining exposure through the use of its song "Light and Day" in a Volkswagen Beetle/Apple iPod television commercial.

Led by former Tripping Daisy frontman Tim DeLaughter, the group's debut album, "The Beginning Stages Of...," was originally released last year through Dallas independent label Good, and recently reissued by Hollywood. The new version includes a bonus disc with tracks recorded live during an appearance on KCRW Los Angeles and alternate versions of "Light and Day" and "Soldier Girl."

Audio samples and videos for tracks on the set are available on the Spree's official Web site. Hollywood expects to release the group's as-yet-untitled sophomore album in early 2004.

Next month, the Polyphonic Spree will be heard on the compilation "Wig in a Box." As previously reported, Rufus Wainwright, the Breeders, Ben Folds and Sleater-Kinney are among those who have contributed songs from and inspired by the musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" to the album, due Oct. 21 via Off Records. Proceeds will benefit New York's Harvey Milk School.

In related news, a spokesperson would neither confirm nor comment on recent reports in the U.K. press that the Spree had split with 679 Recordings, the Warner Music joint-venture label to which the ensemble was signed. "There are discussions ongoing," says an insider at Warner in London. "The Beginning Stages of..." album has sold more than 73,000 copies in the U.K. to date, according to data supplied by the Official U.K. Charts Company.

Here are the Polyphonic Spree's upcoming tour dates:

Sept. 19: Dallas (Granada Theatre)
Sept. 21: Austin, Texas (Austin City Limits Festival)
Sept. 23: New Orleans (Howlin' Wolf)
Sept. 24: Atlanta (Variety Playhouse)
Sept. 25: Birmingham, Ala. (WorkPlay Theatre)
Sept. 26: Asheville, N.C. (The Orange Peel)
Sept. 28: Philadelphia (First Unitarian Church)
Sept. 29-30: Toronto (Lee's Palace)
Oct. 2: Detroit (Shelter)
Oct. 5-6: Chicago (Empty Bottle)
Oct. 7: Chicago (Metro)
Nov. 10: Louisville, Ky. (Headliners)
Nov. 12-13: Lawrence, Kan. (Liberty Hall)
Nov. 14: Boulder, Col. (Fox Theater)
Nov. 15: Englewood, Col. (Gothic Theater)
Nov. 17: Seattle (Graceland)
Nov. 18: Portland, Ore. (Aladdin Theatre)
Nov. 19-20: San Francisco (Slim's)
Nov. 22: Los Angeles (Universal Amphitheatre; KCRW Show)
Nov. 23-24: San Diego (Scene)

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print