So, I keep referring to this “backlog” of things I have to listen to, you know, like I’m just so overwhelmed with things to listen to (what a tragedy!), but it’s true, I have a huge backlog of things that I was e-mailed about ages and ages ago and I feel downright awful (and ridiculous) that it’s taken me so long to get to some most of them, especially when people made the effort to, you know, e-mail me well in advance so I can do things like talk about the shows they’re playing to promote their releases.
Back on September 3rd (so, like, a month and a week ago which is like a zillion years in internet time), MJ Hibbett was kind enough to send me an e-mail about his latest releases with The Validators: Forest Moon of Enderby and Hibbett’s Superstore. It is like MJ Hibbett is exactly in tune with how long it typically takes me to get things done, because I’m able to squeak this in just in time for his tour information to still be relevant(!!!) and for this to be posted before Forest Moon and Superstore are officially released.
Forest Moon of Enderby collects 12 rare b-sides and it comes packaged with a second rarities collection (a multimedia album entitled Hibbett’s Superstore, containing an additional 23 tracks.) Back in May, I reviewed the MJ Hibbett & The Validator’s album Regardez, Ecoutez, et Repetez and it’s hard not to just copy and paste big quotes from that review because so much of what I liked about Regardez is done just as well in the songs on Forest Moon of Enderby, especially the fact that while MJ Hibbett & The Validators have such a great, youthful pop sound, their songs are, lyrically, deeply thoughtful and reflect a wide range of adult attitudes and experiences. I think you hear this especially in “Billy Jones is Dead,” “Leave My Brother Alone,” and “Graffiti On The Cenotaph.”
While Forest Moon of Enderby collects rare full-band material, Hibbett’s Superstore is focused primarily on Hibbett’s solo recordings. The songs on Superstore range wildly in topic and length, but they’re strung together by the same sensibilities that ground Hibbett’s full-band work with The Validators: the lyrics are both sincere and clever and the music is relentlessly catchy.
MJ Hibbett & The Validators are unable to do a “traditional” tour in support of this release, but they’ve worked out a nice way of getting around that. Starting tonight, MJ Hibbett will be performing an acoustic set every two weeks in the upstairs room at The Lamb in London. Each performance will then be released as a free to download podcast. Hibbett’s shows at The Lamb will involve collaboration with Chris T-T, The Bobby McGees, Gavin Osborn and members of Pocketbooks. If you can’t make it out to The Lamb, podcasts will be available to download from Totally Acoustic and iTunes starting October 15th.
Forest Moon of Enderby (packaged along with Hibbett’s Superstore) will be released on Oct. 18th and is currently available for pre-order right here. If you’re interested in even more MJ Hibbett & The Validators, be sure to peruse their website.
Mon 11 Oct with Gavin Osborn and Dr Neil Brown
Tue 26 Oct with Winston Echo and Pete Green
Mon 8 Nov with Frankie Machine and The Bobby McGees
Tue 23 Nov with Dave Green and Jenny Lockyer
Tue 7 Dec with Keith TOTP and Tim Eveleigh
Tue 21 Dec with Chris T-T and Andy from Pocketbooks
All gigs take place in the upstairs room of The Lamb at 94 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London WC1N 3LZ and start promptly at 7:30pm, finishing at 9:15pm.