BIG STIR RECORDS is proud and delighted. You're probably accustomed to that. The real question is whether or not it prepares you for “Captain Serious” b/w “Beautiful Dreamer”, the first new music from BUTCH YOUNG in three years, and the 30th installment of our Digital Singles Series. There's only one way to find out... it'll set you back one whole US dollar but we think you'll find your life woefully unfulfilled if you don't click the following link.
May-born baby Butch Young sprang That First Spring from The Garden State. Though naked and in New Jersey, he felt no shame, willfully biting The Big Apple. By the time he was old enough to spot a made guy, his family forsook Sinatra’s Hoboken for Pleasant Valley Sundays further from The City. Swapping his Sicilian pop’s surname for his Mayflower mom’s maiden moniker, Butch set about confounding The Library of Congress with his incessant copyrights. A stone’s throw from The (actual) Fountains of Wayne, Butch and Nick Celeste formed the power-pop combo "In Color". They jangled their self-penned ditties alongside The Monkees' "Porpoise Song" and Phil Seymour's "Precious To Me" in hangs like Hoboken’s Maxwell’s and NYC’s China Club.
Upon releasing an EP on Questionmark Records, they became label-mates of perennial pals Dramarama. When Celeste grew busier with "In Color" producer Richard Barone's solo act, Butch ventured westward – joining fellow Wayne transplants Dramarama in L.A. Butch contributed backing vocals to their albums Cinema Verite (Questionmark/New Rose/Chameleon) and Hi Fi Sci Fi (Chameleon/Elektra) -- concurrently recording his own material with them at Hollywood’s Music Box Studios. Richard Bosworth (The Knack/Johnny Rivers) and Dramarama’s Chris Carter co-produced a subsequent batch of Butch’s material. Instrumental collaborators included guitarist Berton Averre (The Knack), drummer Phil Jones (Tom Petty), bassist Rick Rosas (Neil Young) with backing vocals from Edan Everly (son of Don) and John Easdale. Butch more recently re-teamed with producer Bosworth and Averre to record another of his songs (“By Invitation”).
Butch has contributed tracks to several International Pop Overthrow compilations (Not Lame Records/Pop Geek Heaven) including the imminently-forthcoming IPO CD Number 22 (Omnivore Recordings). His home-recorded album, Mercury Man was self-released January 15, 2016. It garnered favorable reviews and was included on several “Best Albums of 2016” lists, including Absolute Powerpop, Bash on Pop (International Pop Overthrow founder David Bash), Plastico Elastico (Spain) and Pop That Goes Crunch. Shortly afterwards (accompanied by Robbie Rist and Dramarama’s Mark Englert), Butch performed selections from Mercury Man at Big Stir: Power Pop & More, a popular monthly showcase in Los Angeles (then in its first year and yet to spawn its spinoff label.
His song “Persephone” was included on the compilation Cds Big Stir: The First Year and Ice Cream Man Power Pop & More - Power Popsicle Brain Freeze (Sweden). Butch contributed the tune "Heartbreak Christmas" to This Christmas Time Four, a holiday-themed compilation CD from Powerpop Academy/This Time Records in Japan. He’s currently working on a new album, collaborating once again with guitarist/bassist Matt Lee.
As to the tracks at hand, the brand new A-side is "Captain Serious": Let’s (smile and) salute Butch Young’s light-hearted send-up of sourpusses everywhere. Power Pop aficionados will note the affectionate appropriation of a Van Duran album-title. This presumably rhetorical question is periodically posed to our eponymous Captain, a dyspeptic sort we’ve all had the misfortune to encounter (and perhaps on the Wrong Day, to have been).
On the virtual flipside is "Beautiful Dreamer" This languorous and elastic swirl of strings and slide guitar evokes the kind of dream state that’s sure to sweat the sheets. Despite the confounding and troubling contents of this fever dream, our pulchritudinous and unconscious subject is encouraged to “have another wink or two” before springing to life. Night terrors never sounded so sweet.