The Minus 5, Scott the Hoople in the Dungeon of Horror
When he’s not touring with Peter Buck, penning songs about America’s pastime with The Baseball Project, or reuniting with his first band Young Fresh Fellows, Scott McCaughey is working with his group The Minus 5.
This Saturday, the band—a loose collective of Peter Buck, John Ramberg, Bill Rieflin, and “pretty much everybody else”—will release their ninth album, Scott the Hoopie in the Dungeon of Horror. It’s a whopper—a vinyl-only release of 57 new songs over five platters.
“I haven’t put out a record in a while,” McCaughey told Seattle Weekly via phone recently. “Though I’ve been recording a lot of stuff in the basement [studio, aka the Dungeon of Horror]. I didn’t really know what the next record was going to be—whether it was going to be a psychedelic downer folk record, a pure pop record, a follow-up to the Gun Album, a noisy rock record. I got the idea ‘What if I released all of this stuff?’ I made it be all of those.”
Yep Roc, the label issuing the beast, is intimately familiar with McCaughey’s process, not to mention his enduring love of pop music in its many forms (the imprint has released the work of his many projects over the years). Its site points out that 100 copies of the set “are pressed on colored vinyl that corresponds with the complex color-coded system of credits detailing the musical contributions of the many talented contributors to the project.”
“Many” is putting it mildly. Jeff Tweedy, Casey Neill, Laura Gibson, Jenny Conlee, Ian McLagan, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Kurt Bloch represent but a fraction of the help McCaughey enlisted to assemble the project. “I always bring in my friends to help out,” McCaughey says. Some highlights, he says, are “a 24-verse, nine-minute song about the Monkees’ Michael Nesmith” and a track called “In the Ground.” “Everyone seems to like that one,” he says.
For a such a distinctive release, McCaughey says, “Record Store Day seemed to be the time to do it. They’ve been really cool,” he says, “allowing me to do something this ridiculous.”
The price, $89, is intentional, too, he says. “It’s not expensive! I always like to have things be cheap.”