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Chase Jarvis
Brent Amaker and the Rodeo's Please Stand By releases Oct. 19

Although Brent Amaker is Seattle's Man in Black you'll never catch him

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Brent Amaker and the Rodeo Give Kraftwerk, Comics and iPhones the Cowboy Touch

psb_cover.jpg
Chase Jarvis
Brent Amaker and the Rodeo's Please Stand By releases Oct. 19

Although Brent Amaker is Seattle's Man in Black you'll never catch him and his band, The Rodeo, covering Johnny Cash.

"You know how many times I've walked into a bar and within five minutes somebody puts Johnny Cash on the jukebox? It really fucking gets on my nerves," said Amaker. "You know what Johnny Cash would say if you asked him to play somebody else's songs?"

He answers his own question by clinching his jaw and flipping the bird.

So when One Reel asked Amaker to choose a cover to include in his Bumbershoot set last month he went about as far away from Johnny Cash as possible and decided to cover Kraftwerk's "Pocket Calculator." You can listen to the cover by clicking play above.

"If you think about it, Kraftwerk were a bunch of guys trying to sound like robots before Pro Tools existed and we're a bunch of cowboys trying to sound like a bunch of guys trying to sound like robots," said Amaker. "It just works."

Indeed it does and one of the main reasons is because it isn't a carbon copy Kraftwerk cover. It works so well because Amaker and the Rodeo take Kraftwerk's quirkiness and make it their own, just like, well, Johnny Cash did to Trent Reznor's anger and sorrow when he took on "Hurt."

The cover can only be found on the digital download you get after buying the limited edition vinyl version of Brent Amaker and the Rodeo's upcoming album Please Stand By. And the Kraftwerk cover isn't the only exclusive you get if you purchase the vinyl.

The LP also comes with a comic book starring the band titled "Mescal De La Muerte." The album comes out Oct. 19 and the band will celebrate its release Oct. 22 with an album release show at the Crocodile featuring Head Like A Kite and Ra Scion.

The 24-page graphic novel tells a devilish tale of a Rodeo road trip gone awry. It boasts a warning on its cover stating the book features "satanic midgets, naked cowgirls, demon wrestlers, binge drinking, bikers, punks and Texans." The warning doesn't mention the gratuitous goat sex and grape soda drinking.

"I'm super psyched to have it. We used to drive around in the van and joke that touring with the Rodeo is so crazy that we need to be a comic book. And now we're a comic book," said Amaker.

The comic and Kraftwerk cover aren't the only parts of the multi-pronged Brent Amaker and the Rodeo promotional blitz. Like any good cowboys worth their weight in spurs Brent Amaker and the Rodeo have their own iPhone app. Released last week, The B.A.R. Music Mix Master plays snippets of the group's song "I've Got A Little Hillbilly in Me" when you touch different buttons. It's a pretty simple app you probably won't use very often but it will definitely come in handy when you need some western music sound effects.

"None of it really comes together and it's a little retarded, but I do have an app," Amaker said. "It's been downloaded in eight countries which is really cool."

You can catch Brent Amaker and the Rodeo Oct. 22 at the Crocodile at the CD release release party for Please Stand By which is a part of City Arts Fest.

 
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