Billboard Bits: The Sea & Cake, Cowboy Junkies, Townes Van Zandt

Chicago rock outfit The Sea & Cake will return May 8 with a new Thrill Jockey album, "Everybody." The 10-track set was recorded by indie vet Brian Paulson (Slint, Superchunk), marking the first ti

As tipped here last month, Chicago rock outfit The Sea & Cake will return May 8 with a new Thrill Jockey album, "Everybody." The 10-track set was recorded by indie vet Brian Paulson (Slint, Superchunk), marking the first time the group had not worked with drummer John McEntire.

"I'd say in general, for lack of a better word, it's more upbeat," frontman Sam Prekop told Billboard.com. "And somehow, strangely straight-ahead. Some of the songs are more in a certain rock tradition. Of course, that's coming from me, so it may be hard to believe. I always say that kind of stuff and people will hear intensely experimental art-rock leanings rather than straight rock leanings."

Here is the track list for "Everybody":

"Up on Crutches"
"Too Strong"
"Crossing Line"
"Middlenight"
"Coconut"
"Exact to Me"
"Lightning"
"Introducing"
"Left On"
"Transparent"

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.






The Cowboy Junkies have set an April 24 release date for their next Zoe/Rounder album, "At the End of Paths Taken." The follow-up to 2004's "One Soul Now" was inspired by how current world politics have filtered down to family relationships, according to group member Michael Timmins.

A spring tour in support of the album will begin April 10 in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and run through May 12 in Atlanta. In addition,
as previously reported, the Junkies are planning a fall release for a CD/DVD celebrating the 20th anniversary of their acclaimed "The Trinity Session" album.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.






Fat Possum will re-release a number of Townes Van Zandt albums on May 1. The reissues include the late singer/songwriter's first four albums, plus 2001's duets collection "Texas Rain" and 1978's "Flyin' Shoes." The former features guest appearances from artists like Willie Nelson, the late Freddy Fender and Emmylou Harris.

"For the Sake of the Song" (1968), "Our Mother the Moutain" (1969), "Townes Van Zandt" (1970) and "Delta Momma Blues" (1971), plus the other two releases, were originally issued by Tomato Records but are long out of print.

Van Zandt died on New Year's Day 1997 at the age of 52.

-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.