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Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Blue Record & Tour

It’s always a bit of a shock when someone does something unexpected, and that’s exactly how I felt listening to Ruban Nielson croon out his cover of the Dirty Projector track “Swing Lo Magellan.” Nielson, front man of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, steps outside of his psychedelic garage rock comfort zone and into uncharted, and potentially controversial territory by laying down his Fender and picking up an acoustic for the Blue Record.

By his own admonition, this direction could be a bit “twee” for him, but I have to be honest, it works and in an almost subversive way at that. While my first reaction was to prefer the original, Nielson’s version grows on you over time–kind of like when you buy a new suit because you’re tired of wearing your old one to every occasion. You love that suit; it’s gotten you through countless weddings, Bar Mitzvah’s and job interviews. But this new one, it might not fit as well right off the bat, it might not move with you the way the old one did, but give it a few wears and you won’t want to take it off.

[Ed. Note: UMO will be in Chicago 10/21 at Lincoln Hall. Click here to buy tickets. The rest of the tour dates are below.]

Sep-25 Sacramento, CA – Harlowe’s
Sep-26 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
Sep-27 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
Sep-28 San Diego, CA – Casbah
Sep-29 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
Oct-2 Austin, TX – The Mohawk
Oct-3 Little Rock, AR – Stickyz RocknRoll Chicken Shack
Oct-4 Nashville, TN – Exit In
Oct-5 Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
Oct-6 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
Oct-8 Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel
Oct-9 Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
Oct-11 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Oct-14 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
Oct-15 Montreal, Canada – Cabaret Mile End
Oct-16 Toronto, Canada – Lee’s Palace
Oct-17 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick Lounge
Oct-18 Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups
Oct-19 Pittsburgh, PA – Altar
Oct-21 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
Oct-22 Madison, WI – The Frequency
Nov-7 London, England – Electric Ballroom
Nov-8 Manchester, England – Academy 2
Nov-10 Poitiers, France – Le Confort Moderne
Nov-11 Paris, France – Point Ephemere
Nov-12 Utrecht, Netherlands – Tivoli Oudegracht
Nov-13 Brussels, Belgium – AB Club
Nov-15 Prague, Czech Republic – Chapeau Rouge
Nov-16 Vienna, Austria – B72
Nov-18 Budapest, Hungary – A38 Ship
Nov-20 Zurich, Switzerland – Rote Fabrik
Nov-21 Dudingen, Switzerland – Bad Bonn
Nov-22 Carpi, Italy – Mattatoio
Nov-23 Rome, Italy – Blackout
Nov-25 Montpellier, France – Rockstore
Nov-26 Barcelona, Spain – La 2
Nov-27 Madrid, Spain – El Sol
Jan-15 Shanghai, China – Yuyintang
Jan-16 Beijing, China – Mao Livehouse
Jan-18 Seoul, South Korea – Rolling Hall
Jan-19 Busan, South Korea – Vinyl Underground
Jan-21 Hong Kong – Grappas Cellar
Jan-22 Bangkok, Thailand – Sonic
Jan-23 Taipei – The Wall

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