With merely weeks leading to the March 9 release of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s fifth studio album, Beat The Devil’s Tattoo, iTunes is making it available for pre-order starting today, February 9. Upon purchase, the single, “Beat The Devil’s Tattoo,” will be available for instant download with added bonus, “Annabel Lee,” being offered exclusive to this pre-order period, otherwise only available on the vinyl pressing, the Japanese release, and iTunes UK. All versions of the LP purchased through iTunes, pre-sale or otherwise, will include “1:51,” a cult/fan favorite that has not been released until now.

This album sees the band return to the rootsy, back porch country sound of Howl, perfectly dusted over their signature wall-of-shoegaze fuzz. In a sense, the duo of bassist Robert Levon Been and guitarist Peter Hayes has started over, with a new vision, new drummer Leah Shapiro as well as a new label – their own Abstract Dragon, in partnership with Vagrant Records. Their newfound confidence and inspiration appears to have rejuvenated them, and their songs bleed with raw intensity. Like the title of the album, a phrase gleaned from Edgar Allan Poe’s 1839 short story, “The Devil In The Belfry,” BRMC stands on the edge of darkness, but never dives in.

The trio’s extensive tour begins February 26 in Sacramento and culminates in Toronto April 11, after a stop at Webster Hall in NYC April 8. San Francisco fans will get a special treat, as the band salutes their roots with an intimate performance at Slim’s, their original stomping ground, the night of the album’s release. Upon the tour’s announcements, shows are beginning to sell out, including two nights in current hometown Los Angeles, with a third added due to popular demand.


February 26 – Sacramento, Calif. @ Harlow’s
February 27 – Reno, Nev. @ Knitting Factory
February 28 – Las Vegas, Nev. @ Wasted Space @ Hard Rock Hotel
March 2 – Denver, Colo. @ Gothic Theatre
March 4 – Boise, Idaho @ Knitting Factory
March 5 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Showbox @ The Market
March 6 – Vancouver, B.C. @ Commodore Ballroom
March 7 – Portland, Ore. @ Wonder Ballroom
March 9 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Slim’s
March 10 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Slim’s
March 11 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Echoplex
March 12 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Echoplex
March 13 – San Diego, Calif. @ House of Blues
March 14 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Echoplex
March 16 – Anaheim, Calif. @ House of Blues
March 18 – Dallas, Texas @ House of Blues
March 20 – Houston, Texas @ House of Blues
March 21 – Tulsa, Okla. @ Cain’s Ballroom
March 23 – St. Louis, Mo. @ The Pageant
March 24 – Madison, Wisc. @ High Noon Saloon
March 25 – Chicago, Ill. @ Metro
March 26 – Milwaukee, Wisc. @ Turner Hall Ballroom
March 27 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ First Avenue
March 29 – Grand Rapids, Mich. @ The Intersection
March 30 – Columbus, Ohio @ Newport Music Hall
March 31 – Cleveland, Ohio @ House Of Blues
April 1 – Toronto, ONT @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
April 2 – Montreal, QC @ La Tulipe
April 3 – Boston, Mass. @ House of Blues
April 5 – Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club
April 6 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Theatre of The Living Arts

April 7 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ Mr. Small’s Theatre
April 8 – New York, N.Y. @ Webster Hall

April 11 – Toronto, ONT @ Phoenix Concert Theatre


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Becoming Comrades

The trio of Comrades – husband and wife Joe and Laura McElroy alongside drummer John Gaskil – is used to living in a van and touring the country. Now, their new normal has provided them with a moment to "be adults" for once. We recently sat down with the McElroys to talk more about the spiritual reality within life, how soon they'll be able to release new music, and how koalas are their new normal.


Photo by Quinsey Sablan

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In 1985, Doug Van Pelt photocopied a letter-sized sheets of paper, bound them together, and handed them out in person on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. It's all digital now, but, along the way, Van Pelt stirred up quite a few waves, played some seriously heavy music, and made a few friends along the way. Here: A quick look back at the magazine's 35-year history with Van Pelt and new owner, David Stagg.


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