The initial pressing of "Satellite Rides," the forthcoming Elektra album from Dallas-based Old 97's, will be accompanied by a bonus disc with several live cuts and a newly recorded studio track not in

The initial pressing of "Satellite Rides," the forthcoming Elektra album from Dallas-based Old 97's, will be accompanied by a bonus disc with several live cuts and a newly recorded studio track not included on the album. The five live tracks -- "Barrier Reef," "Valentine," "Nineteen," "Victoria," and "Timebomb" -- were recorded in September 1999 at Berkeley, Calif.'s Fantasy Studios for San Francisco radio station KFOG.

"Singular Girl" was recorded during the Wally Gagel-produced, Tchad Blake-mixed sessions for the new album, due out March 20. The alt-country band has a handful of late-March dates on tap in its home state, and will appear April 3 on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien." A full U.S. tour in support of the release is being laid out.

"Satellite Rides" is the band's fifth studio set, following a pair of releases for Elektra -- 1997's "Too Far To Care" and 1999's "Fight Songs." In a missive on the band's official Web site, guitarist Ken Bethea describes the sessions for the new album as less labored than in the past. "We spent the 'Too Far' session fighting against the idea of losing our integrity to a major label and the 'Fight Songs' session trying to work with the system while maintaining our autonomy. Both were wonderful learning experiences."

That's all changed with the new album. "The 'Satellite Rides' session was so clean and effortless that it felt like I was in a movie band," Bethea continues. "No talk of showing the man. No talk of radio. No talk of 'is it country enough?' Just music stuff. Guitar tones. Amps. Snappy snares. 'Does the kick boom enough?' 'Should the vocals be warmer?' Good things... How often does a band get to experience this? For us it was a first."

The critically acclaimed "Fight Songs" peaked at No. 16 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart.

Here are Old 97's tour dates:
March 20: Dallas (Gypsy Tea Room)
March 21: Houston (Fitzgerald's)
March 22-23: Austin, Texas (Antone's)
March 24: Fort Worth, Texas (Ridglea Theatre)

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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