new Howling Hex / Neil Hagerty brings the funk!

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Wowzers, this record is SO good. More groove / funk based than anything he's ever done, and probably the most Royal Trux-esque of his solo albums. The last legit full length is tough to top but I think I like this new one even better (despite the dearth of guitar solos!). The mysterious girl from the limited LPs is back full force - she sings just as much -if not a little more - than the 'Hag. Not to scare anyone, but some of it is very Make*Up esque - as in, repeated guitar lines and throbbing bass, while very 'in the know' vocals sermonize on top. A very consistent tone - very few songs vary much in 'feel,' which I think is very much to it's credit, and why it succeeds in ways that the last album didn't.

I'm really, really into this record (and by the way the book is brilliant too). Anyone else heard this yet?

Roger Fidelity (Roger Fidelity), Sunday, 13 February 2005 21:13 (fifteen years ago) link

Yep, I like it a lot, although that consistent tone you mention sort of makes it a hard record to sit through in one go. But yeah, girl vox + boogie makes this very interesting.

Omar (Omar), Sunday, 13 February 2005 21:40 (fifteen years ago) link

All-Night Fox is fantastic. It's the greatest rehabilitation of JJ Cale's laid-back boogie funk ever (not that there are a lot of these about, but still). And one of the female vocalists is in her 60s--bonus.

Dave Segal (Da ve Segal), Sunday, 13 February 2005 22:18 (fifteen years ago) link

JJ Cale is about the greatest not v recognised WHIZZ of ever but the Make Up are the shittiest bunch of dorks in likewise, so oh man I have NO IDEA about this now (except it's Neil H. so we've got 50x the use of the Make Up musically already I guess), hmmmmmm

Andrew Blood Thames (Andrew Thames), Monday, 14 February 2005 14:10 (fifteen years ago) link

I like it alot. I haven't yet burned it off my computer, so I've only listened on shitty laptop speakers, but I'm actually waiting to buy the thing for real...
I heard a story a while back about how Neil was playing a solo acoustic gig somewhere and on the spur of the moment, he invited the opening band, a sheezy local 'blues funk' outfit to back him up. The immediate chemistry was so strong, Neil invited them to accompany him for the rest of his gigs on the west coast.
I'm fairly certain this was between Good Old RNR and the 1st Howling Hex record, but All Night Fox, with it's near complete lack of chord changes, variations on a riff, etc. sounds alot like I imagined this ad hoc combo. My educated guess: Neil formed this band on the spur of the moment and ran with the results. A very Royal Truxian move, yes?

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Monday, 14 February 2005 17:24 (fifteen years ago) link

I like it more every time I hear it. I think your hypothesis is very astute, Mike - it DOES sound like an ad hoc assemblage of anonymous show-offs. It's tied for my favorite record of the year so far, easily.

Roger Fidelity (Roger Fidelity), Monday, 14 February 2005 20:56 (fifteen years ago) link

Pitchfork gives it a 6.8, but those guys are geeks...
Also, this review I found on the Beating Hearts yahoo group reveals the identities of the ladies singing on this album. I didn't bother to find out where it's from.

The Howling Hex featuring Neil Michael Hagerty, "All Night Fox" (Drag City) -- Once upon a time, not so long ago, they were called Neil Michael Hagerty and the Howling Hex. The new incarnation of the band, however, has apparently grown up enough to stand on its own. The Howling Hex, now "featuring Neil Michael Hagerty," continues its rock 'n' roll onslaught with "All Night Fox," a welcome addition to the Drag City discography.

"All Night Fox" is a mess of sloppy sounds that are continually scooped into a listenable form by Hagerty and crew. By far the best album from the group under the Howling Hex name, "All Night Fox" sounds a little old, a little new and a whole lot awesome.

The best improvement is the addition of female vocals, supplied by Lynn Madison, who also plays drums, and July McClure, who plays bass guitar. The female vocals add a sexiness to the music that compliments Hagerty's hard-hitting, drier vocals. Peter Denton supplies a tight rhythm guitar that holds it all together. It's rock music done in the best fashion: loud, raucous and over far too soon, leaving you wanting more.

It looks like this may be a cd only release, by the way...

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Tuesday, 22 February 2005 21:41 (fifteen years ago) link

Tied for first with what, Roger?
For me it's the Om album.

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Tuesday, 22 February 2005 21:42 (fifteen years ago) link

It looks like this may be a cd only release, by the way...

That it is. I saw it in two stores last week and was told that same thing, so I didn't buy it. I have four HH LPs, I'm not switching formats for another.

Vic Funk, Tuesday, 22 February 2005 23:17 (fifteen years ago) link


(ps Mike - the Dredd Foole album on Ecstatic Yod)

roger adultery (roger adultery), Wednesday, 23 February 2005 01:25 (fifteen years ago) link

don't listen to this record if you have a hangover.
maddening in its insistence///////////////
that said, not like any other record of which I can think

The Argunaut (sexyDancer), Friday, 25 February 2005 18:41 (fifteen years ago) link

why does this record, ur cd, remind me of PBS kidz educational showz?

The Argunaut (sexyDancer), Friday, 25 February 2005 18:46 (fifteen years ago) link

according to Google image search this is Haggerty's backing band:

The Argunaut (sexyDancer), Friday, 25 February 2005 18:55 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, Drag City now says Cd only. WellI'm not buying it then, that'll show em. Three Lp only releases then this, what a cunt Neil's turned out to be (surprise)

A Viking of Some Note (Andrew Thames), Saturday, 26 February 2005 01:41 (fifteen years ago) link

c'mon dude, don't deprive yrself of a great record (err, 'disc') because, frankly, Drag City / Hag et al probably don't care too much whether you buy it or not, and you really oughta hear it because it's great (so is Superwolf - man I just can't bring myself to file that one away since I downloaded it over a month ago - there's a vinyl release on that, right?? Cuz I'll need that soon)

roger adultery (roger adultery), Saturday, 26 February 2005 02:17 (fifteen years ago) link

There is a vinyl version of Superwolf. I don't know why, but I really have no interest in a CD version of HH. By not putting it on vinyl, it's just one less album for me to have to pick up.

Speaking of DC and weird practices, anybody know why they recalled the Bastro releases? DC's just reissued a shitload of Louisville/Grubbs material (the two Squirrel Bait records, a bunch of Gastr Del Sol stuff, a bunch of Dexter's Cigar stuff, the first King Kong single), but these Bastro albums which they'd been declaring for months would be reissued suddenly aren't.

Vic Funk, Saturday, 26 February 2005 02:51 (fifteen years ago) link

I had this dream earlier in the week that I went to go see Howling Hex, and they had three guitarists, two bassists, and two drummers, most of which were hot girls. They played one song that sounded like the album, then they went off stage and started wheeling on all this electical equipment like a Tesla coil and those things from sci-fi movies that shoot up sparks and monitors with video games on them. Then I woke up.

n/a (Nick A.), Saturday, 26 February 2005 03:01 (fifteen years ago) link

All-Night Fox is fucking fabulous. Hagerty plays better Magic Band guitar lines than the Magic Band did.

Also conclusively demonstrates what a flimsy piece of shit that RTX album was/is.

Yoluka, Saturday, 26 February 2005 07:39 (fifteen years ago) link

"Hagerty plays better Magic Band guitar lines than the Magic Band did."

I express the skepticism.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 26 February 2005 07:44 (fifteen years ago) link

I like that Roger took Andrew seriously. Roffles.

Stormy Davis (diamond), Saturday, 26 February 2005 08:00 (fifteen years ago) link

also Tim, you don't think it's possible that Hagerty is ultimately a better, more creative guitar player than Harkleroad? seems perfectly tenable to me ... in fact I think I agree!!

(and I am a total Beefheart freek-a-zoid)

Stormy Davis (diamond), Saturday, 26 February 2005 08:07 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm a Beefheart fanatic as well, but that doesn't preclude me from thinking that Hagerty is a better, more innovative, and more versatile player than anyone Van Vliet ever employed. Maybe you could argue that the Magic Band players were kept on a short leash by the Captain, and we never really heard the true extent of what they were capable of (probably true), but the proof is in the recordings, and I believe that Hagerty is the superior musician in every respect.

Yoluka, Saturday, 26 February 2005 08:34 (fifteen years ago) link

This CD makes me so happy. Track 4... yowza.

morris pavilion (samjeff), Wednesday, 2 March 2005 17:29 (fourteen years ago) link

Tightness was key to the Magic Band, though. I think of Hagerty as being more like a stoner rock version of Blood Ulmer or something.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Wednesday, 2 March 2005 17:43 (fourteen years ago) link

... though the recent Don-less Magic Band album was (someone correct me if I'm wrong) comprised of nothing but freshly cut instumental versions of Beefheart chestnuts. Which doesn't *prove* they can't come up with their own stuff, but it doesn't make the case otherwise, either.
I heard some of it on the radio, though, and meant to buy it, but I forgot.

And Roger, yes, Superwolf is on vinyl.
It includes a little card extolling the virtues of cannabis vs. drink by Paul Bowles:
“Cannabis sativa and its derivatives are strictly prohibited in Turkey, and the natural correlative of this prescription is that alcohol, far from being frowned upon as it is in other Moslem lands, is freely drunk; being a government monopoly it can be bought at any cigarette counter. This fact is no mere detail; it is of primary social importance, since the psychological effects of the two substances are diametrically opposed to each other. Alcohol blurs the personality by loosening inhibitions. The drinker feels, temporarily at least, a sense of participation. Cannabis abolishes no inhibitions; on the contrary, it reinforces them, pushes the individual further back into the recesses of his own isolated personality, pledging him to contemplation and inaction. It is to be expected that there should be a close relationship between the culture of a given society and the means used by its members to achieve release and euphoria. For Judaism and Christianity the means has always been alcohol; for Islam it has been hashish. The first is dynamic in its effects, the other static. If a nation wishes, however mistakenly, to Westernize itself, first let it give up hashish. The rest will follow, more or less as a matter of course. Conversely, in a Western country, if a whole segment of the population desires, for reasons of protest, to isolate itself in a radical fashion from the society around it, the quickest and surest way is for it to replace alcohol with cannabis.”

as well as a liner note dedication by Oldham to "the Sween-dog" that made me laugh out loud. The picture of Will and Matt on the back c
over rules as well.

And yes, I'll buy the all-Night Fox cd, and supplement it with the lp if it ever does surface.
(Sweet 16 was never issued on vinyl - the only other Hagerty recording given the same treatment (not counting 'Corpse Love')?)

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Wednesday, 2 March 2005 17:51 (fourteen years ago) link

ergh comparing hagerty and harkleroad, most useless thing ever.

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 2 March 2005 17:53 (fourteen years ago) link

four weeks pass... there any word on whether or not DC is going to reissue the LPs on CD? Because I kind of ignored their existence at the time since Hagerty's solo stuff honestly didn't thrill me much. But I'm listening to All-Night Fox now and I love it a lot. And I'm kind of upset to hear that the LPs sounded more like this stuff.

Or: any chance at all of snagging the LPs on SSK?

Deric W. Haircare (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 1 April 2005 01:44 (fourteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
I have all 3 lps on slsk. codename: MkDXN.

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Thursday, 28 April 2005 09:25 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...
From Drag City's news page:

Have you gotten your email blast from iTunes yet? If not, then let us break the news — there’s an exclusive online-only track from The Howling Hex ready for download now! “Sick and Old” is the name — but make no mistake, it’s for the young at heart as well as the sick and old. A song for everyone, could it be true? If it’s coming from The Howling Hex, anything could be true. Neil and co. are capable of anything — and they got the vision to try, too.

Speaking of The Howling Hex, this iTunes exclusive track is a precursor to the next phase — a phase involving more music, a film and even some live shows! It’s only been a few months since the release of the New Border classic, All-Night Fox, but already The Howling Hex are moving on. And why shouldn’t they? Life is short and inspiration is in ample supply. So before the end of the year, look for an all-new Howling Hex album, a DVD package and the wildest concerts you’ve attended in years. The Howling Hex is now a double-digit entity, with a full complement of musicians, actors and artists coming and going under the conductor’s wand of Neil Michael Hagerty.

We’ll have more news on the latest moves of The Howling Hex as soon as their carrier pigeon returns with the details. Stay tuned —

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Friday, 3 June 2005 14:54 (fourteen years ago) link

Cool beans!

Huk-L, Friday, 3 June 2005 14:58 (fourteen years ago) link

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Friday, 3 June 2005 15:00 (fourteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
dude, this sucks. i signed up for stupid itunes just to buy this song, which is AWESOME by the way, and can't burn it because nero sez the format is not correct or something. anyone have this on slsk? gimma a break, willya?

roger, Monday, 20 June 2005 09:10 (fourteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
I've had it on my wishlist for a month, still no dice.

THis is from the Royal Trux yah00 group:

The show: When I entered the theatre (evidently the audience was prohibited at that
time), a woman, who I assume is Neil's wife, had taken control of the staff and players in the lighting configuration, stage set-up, so forth. When the configuration was complete, she disappeared, only to re-emerge (to my knowledge) at the end of the set. She had a very hands-off, distanced approach as in "I'll take care of these social
negotiations and leave the rest to Neil." ~5'6", brunette, old-hipster vibe, drank a bit.
Her affect reminded me heavily of Kelly. "I'm free for this moment."

Watched the opening band. Recorded one song. (I did not realize the members would later back up Hagerty). Short set.

HHex: 7-piece band. Hagerty, Mike Saenz, Dan Sylvester, and four players from The Theater Fire. No female vocalists! (Is Hagerty afraid of putting his wife, if she is indeed his wife and one of the vocalists, in the public eye?) Neil performed all of the vocals, save for occasional accompaniment. He would sing, then proceed to duck and conceal himself behind a monitor that he had draped with a painted gunnysack. I thought he was quite successful in his vocal execution, though I have yet to fully grasp the meaning of this act.

The band performed as a looped video was projected behind them. (I assume this will appear on the forthcoming DVD.) The band performed all songs on ANF, 60m set.
The theatre was half full, ~60 people

I have 3m of "beautiful boy" (Allyssa) footage of images projected in sequence on Hagerty's face. The fire of a baked-bean can set ablaze.


Intellectually I understood that the project known of Royal Trux had reached an end (at least through the participation of N&J), but the woman's presence and the full band really cemented that fact.

More later.
(note wedding band. This photo is from the site.)

Mike Dixon, Saturday, 16 July 2005 17:08 (fourteen years ago) link

He looks good! Roffling at his Raiders t-shirt.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 16 July 2005 17:41 (fourteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
Drag City says:
Hot on the heels of their debut down in Austin, The Howling Hex (featuring Neil Michael Hagerty) are planning another couple shows this fall, in anticipation of their musical DVD release (set for November) titled You Can't Beat Tomorrow. Chicago and New York are the destinations currently being mulled, which is good news for Chicago and New York! The word on the Austin ‘Hex show was that it was “wild” and “crazy”, a bunch of people grooving together on stage too small for their size, with the man himself occasionally ducking beneath a rug for purposes unknown. They rocked ‘em in Austin — Chi-town and NYC, you’re next!
More eyewitness coverage from the Austin show:
I would describe the performance as rather comedic. It had a certain dumbness to it, a foil created through so many contending, extraneous elements. The band acted the straight role, trying hard to structure songs they had some control of. Neil seemed to leverage this misdirected(?), but well-intentioned labor to freely stand onstage, sing, sing underneath a banner/sac, and orchestrate the band from these positions.

Neil was very accepting of circumstance, not feeling the need to police the quality of playing. (Though he did make the comment, "I can't afford daycare" which was either a slight against the band and/or a preface to "What, Man? Who Are You?!"). The band performed songs 1-6, 8 from ANF in that order ("Cast Aside the False" being a bit personal?). They sang about 70% of the lyrics of each song.

Stereo(?) stage set-up:
Stage left: drummer (Sylvester), guitarist
Stage center: Neil, bassist, trumpet player
Stage right: drummer, guitarist (Saenz), pedal steel player(? - my memory)

It took about 25m to achieve a fuller sound. Neil stretched the structure/pacing of the songs very harshly through his actions/antics.

Mike2, Sunday, 7 August 2005 16:56 (fourteen years ago) link

So if I love Royal Trux and RTX, but didn't really like "All-Night Fox" that much (every song starts off awesome but then nothing happens and it gets boring), should I bother with any of the Neil Michael Hagerty albums? Which one? Also, is Hand of Glory really bad? They always have like 4 used copies of it at Reckless.

n/a (Nick A.), Friday, 19 August 2005 15:15 (fourteen years ago) link

the first Howling Hex double LP is all-the-way great. ANF is kinda a concept record or sumthin (I didn't like it either). Hand of Glory is only bad if you didn't like Twin Infins.

Outsider Enter Port City (sexyDancer), Friday, 19 August 2005 15:20 (fourteen years ago) link

that's why hagerty loves him! you listen to the new Howling Hex album and notice how he's got those guitar lines just snaking through the entirety of each song, and that sound is TOTALLY Denny Vertigo
-- gear (, August 25th, 2005 5:27 PM.

gear (gear), Thursday, 25 August 2005 17:18 (fourteen years ago) link

should I bother with any of the Neil Michael Hagerty albums?

I YSIed the three vinyl-only deals in the Royal Trux thread.

Neil's blog is pretty confounding:

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Thursday, 25 August 2005 20:00 (fourteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
I bet "Howling Hex" refers to Goetia. Goetia, after all, means "howling" and "hex" goes fairly well with "damned" and "curse." Also, the triangle in the circle being the primary symbol on the first HH album, is the "triangle of art" into which the Goetia are evoked. I fully expected to count up the number of triangles on the cover and get 72, since there are 72 principle Goetia, but instead I got 64, which is still a multiple of 8 and only 8 less than 72. And Neil is clearly weird and esoteric.

Devil Made Me Do It, Sunday, 11 September 2005 01:42 (fourteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Saturday, 1 October 2005 14:11 (fourteen years ago) link

Thank god!

Huk-L (Huk-L), Saturday, 1 October 2005 17:17 (fourteen years ago) link

My most anticipated release of the year. It's gonna rule!

Roger Fidelity (Roger Fidelity), Saturday, 1 October 2005 17:49 (fourteen years ago) link

It DOES rule.

jon dale, Saturday, 1 October 2005 23:11 (fourteen years ago) link

Eyewitness reports from the Beating Hearts yahoo club:
Chicago show: started with Neil doing a reading on
"Van Camp's" backed by a tape of some Operatic type
music, delivered in trademark semi-indecipherable
mumble. Followed by opening act "The Ice Cream Men"
whose members later served as the bulk of the back-up
band for the HHX. HHX next. Six piece. Guitar, bass,
Sax, keyboards, drums, with Neil on guitar and lead
vocals. Painted backdrops, video collage projected
behind. Don't know the names of any members. No
girl/wife unless it was the Asian girl playing
keyboard. I believe Neil has a new guitar. I know dick
about guitars but a friend who went with me to the NYC
show said it was a Gibson Hawk or maybe Night Hawk,
but I don't remember because I don't really give a
shit. Played All Night Fox in its entirety with the
exception of "Cast Aside the False". Neil kept
changing shirts throughout the set. General beaner
aesthetic. Started out in a guayabera and and then
changed to Beans T-shirt. It was funny when he changed
into the Scarface t-shirt (is there a better symbol of
American ambition at this this point?) but it was
hilarious when he changed into the Paco jeans T-shirt.
A subtlety only discerned by being on-sight or
watching a lot of USA (network not the nation). I
guess the New Border Style incorporates wetback style.
During the NYC show he even stopped to comb back
greased up hair. I could say more but I think I
exhausted all my jokes on Sunday trying to come up
with names for the possible Mexico City NFL expansion
franchise. The music itself was top notch. Show very
poorly attended. By the end there were only a handful
of people there. Another entrepreneurial triumph for
Drag City. I thought it was maybe because of the of
the Whitesox/Indians game, but I mentioned it over
dinner with friends on Saturday night and they told me
that the Chicago music scene was not what it once was.
So there you have it. I was out socializing during the
opening part of the NYC show, but the HHX show set was
basically the same, except much better attended. Good
job NY.

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Wednesday, 12 October 2005 16:40 (fourteen years ago) link

No girl/wife unless it was the Asian girl playing keyboard.

nope, the keyboard player did previously play with smog and bright eyes tho.

i could be wrong but i don't think anyone who played these shows (the sax player matt bauder and the bassist josh abrams are the only ones i knew) played on the albums.

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 12 October 2005 19:06 (fourteen years ago) link

The fact that HH shows are so poorly attended, as a rule - at least from what I've seen in the big cities - is evidence of how everyone is stupid and ought to be killed. In a world made up of people with tatse, there'd be lines around the block and people camped out in front of the club the day before.

God Body, Wednesday, 12 October 2005 21:10 (fourteen years ago) link

the show in nyc was pretty well attended.

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 12 October 2005 21:23 (fourteen years ago) link

HH is great and all, but I loved that Theatre Fire band! Austin is one show too few. Bring 'em back!

George, Friday, 21 October 2005 06:17 (fourteen years ago) link

New Howling Hex mp3 - "Apache Energy Plan" is up on the Drag City site now.
It sounds good.

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Monday, 24 October 2005 14:14 (fourteen years ago) link

Anyone plan on catching Hagerty on tour? Starts up May 1 in LA with Follakzoid. There's a flyer for a May 10 date in Seattle at the Black Lodge, but it looks like it was pulled off the site, though that may be because it's a DIY space.

Tomás Piñon (Ryan), Wednesday, 29 April 2015 16:49 (four years ago) link

NMH is pretty great on Twitter.

Immediate Follower (NA), Wednesday, 29 April 2015 16:51 (four years ago) link

haha, yeah he is pleasingly random on there.
go see him if you have the chance! as you'll see in this thread, i've loved his live show for the past few years (though i have no idea what his current show/material is).

tylerw, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 17:00 (four years ago) link

wow! he is playing my town, I will totally go see NMH. this is the most I have ever seen him tour afaict.

tender is the late-night daypart (schlump), Wednesday, 29 April 2015 17:02 (four years ago) link

also dang this sounds fun
i take back everything i said

tender is the late-night daypart (schlump), Wednesday, 29 April 2015 17:03 (four years ago) link

Cancelled Seattle show. Some sort of beef with the promoter; saw Hagerty getting pretty livid with some folks. Super bummer.


Tomás Piñon (Ryan), Monday, 11 May 2015 06:06 (four years ago) link

Saw the show on Friday in Portland. It was pretty great. Seemed kind of like a mix of the polka stuff that he had been doing with the Hagerty-Toth Band stuff. Rambling spoken interludes. Tiny drum sound. His dizzying, hypnotic guitar work. Very happy I went. Haven't ever seen his solo live show before.

Non-Stop Erotic Calculus (bmus), Monday, 11 May 2015 22:37 (four years ago) link

haven't watched yet but there's some video of them here:
so there's no bass player in this lineup?

tylerw, Monday, 11 May 2015 22:46 (four years ago) link

No bass player...or at least not at the Portland show. It definitely lacked that propulsive "kick" but, as far as I can tell, Neil hasn't seemed too interested in that lately.

Non-Stop Erotic Calculus (bmus), Monday, 11 May 2015 22:50 (four years ago) link

...there's some video of them here:

That video is a pretty apt description of what I saw on Friday. The "Game of Dice" song (featured in the video you linked to) was one of my favorites of the evening.

Non-Stop Erotic Calculus (bmus), Monday, 11 May 2015 22:56 (four years ago) link

hmm maybe i should try to get word to hagerty that i am available to be the hex's new bass player

tylerw, Monday, 11 May 2015 23:08 (four years ago) link

nine months pass...

tylerw, Thursday, 11 February 2016 15:19 (four years ago) link

New album?

Wimmels, Thursday, 11 February 2016 15:27 (four years ago) link

Neil Michael Hagerty leads the Howling Hex back out into the sunshine with a new full length, their first since The Best of the Howling Hex back in 2013. This direction, explored in a pair of limited-edition singles released over the past two years, reaches a populist zenith on the new album, Denver, in which an entire community and geographic region are tapped for their energy, the celebratory pulses of which feed the new music of Neil Michael Hagerty and The Howling Hex!

The deeply principled, forward-facing manner of The Howling Hex is based in the now-ancient ways of rock and roll alchemy- the modding-up of ethnic idioms from regional traditional American sounds and the refitting of these rhythms with expressions of new youth, reckless within the contemporary lifestyle! Coupled with the beats, Neil's howling guitar sounds elevate the
music of Denver to an ecstatic communal expression, the likes of which will no doubt massage pleasure centers in the make-up of modern popular music listeners.

The music, when combined with the high-energy reflections of the city life and mountain scene that emanates from Denver, gives The Howling Hex their most powerful, accessible iteration, driven by the rhythm and accelerated by the gnarl of Neil's classic guitar playing. Travel to Denver with The Howling Hex on April 15th!

Neil Michael Hagerty and The Howling Hex are also headed to Europe in May for a gigantic tour! Catch them on the dates below and look out for more to come:

May 06 - in Ghent, Belgium at VOORUIT
May 07 - in Rotterdam, Netherlands at ROODKAPJE SUB
May 08 - in Brighton, UK at PRINCE ALBERT
May 09 -in Cambridge, UK at PORTLAND ARMS
May 10 in London, UK at MOTH CLUB
May 11 - in Leeds, UK at HEADROW
May 12 -in Glasgow, UK at BROADCAST
May 13 -in Preston, UK in CONTINENTAL
May 14 - in Brighton, UK at EXCHANGE
May 17 - in Hamburg, Germany in ASTRA STUBE
May 18 - in Copenhagen, Denmark in JAZZHOUSE
May 19 -in Oslo, Norway in REVOLVER
May 20 -in Gothenberg, Sweden at FOLK
May 30 - in Bologna, Italy at FREAKOUT CLUB
May 31 -in Rome, Italy at FANFULLA
June 01 -in Genova, Italy at TEATRO DALTROVE
June 03 - in Barcelona, Spain at PRIMAVERA SOUND
June 07 - in Geneva, Switzerland at CAVE12
June 08 - in Paris, France at INSTANTS CHAVIRÉS
June 11 -in Porta, Portugal at NOS PRIMAVERA SOUND

tylerw, Thursday, 11 February 2016 15:33 (four years ago) link

of course there's no denver date

tylerw, Thursday, 11 February 2016 15:33 (four years ago) link

LOL perfect

Wimmels, Thursday, 11 February 2016 15:57 (four years ago) link


Οὖτις, Thursday, 11 February 2016 16:29 (four years ago) link

he hasn't played in Denver in almost two years, i think! even though he obviously LOVES it here.

tylerw, Thursday, 11 February 2016 16:34 (four years ago) link


tylerw, Thursday, 11 February 2016 16:36 (four years ago) link

six months pass...

anybody seen this current tour?

global tetrahedron, Wednesday, 7 September 2016 16:54 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

I checked out his website/Tumblr recently for first time in a while; looks like he's selling homemade board games.

I'm off Twitter, and high on life! (morrisp), Thursday, 19 December 2019 00:13 (two months ago) link

They're like download/print on demand type things but yeah. In the NMH tradition they are conceptually oblique and probably impossible to play.

Mike Dixn, Thursday, 19 December 2019 01:07 (two months ago) link

I wonder if it is true that he has recently recorded three albums that haven't been released (as he said in one of those weird RTX interviews this year). I would love to get new Hex music at some point!

I'm off Twitter, and high on life! (morrisp), Thursday, 19 December 2019 18:58 (two months ago) link

Hey, I just discovered (on my local streaming service) a HHex track I wasn't aware of... on this 2013 album. It's good!

I'm off Twitter, and high on life! (morrisp), Thursday, 19 December 2019 19:05 (two months ago) link

Any other heads out there prefer Denver: Approved for Indica Mix to the original alb?

I'm off Twitter, and high on life! (morrisp), Thursday, 19 December 2019 19:21 (two months ago) link

Gee I wonder who at the Denver Brunch game company was responible for this game?

Win big to be the first to lose it all and win!

NOW EVERYONE CAN PLAY BECAUSE EVERYONE CAN PLAY BINGO! You must battle to be the master of the bingo parlor while dodging drug lair dangers & murderous lies in your everyday life. Careful with that pizza money, choose wisely how it is spent. Who will be the perfect zero in J-U-N-K-Y BINGO?

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 19 December 2019 19:34 (two months ago) link

xp i dont prefer it, but its great, i play them just about equally

warn me about a lurking rake (One Eye Open), Thursday, 19 December 2019 20:02 (two months ago) link

Gee I wonder who at the Denver Brunch game company was responible for this game?

I'm assuming the "Denver Brunch game company" is a one-man operation

Paul Ponzi, Thursday, 19 December 2019 21:01 (two months ago) link

B/c I'm bored, here's a quick & dirty ranking of the main Drag City albums (not counting the three released under the NMH name; and with 1-2-3 subbing in for the three Ltd. LPs):

Best Of
All-Nite Fox
Earth Junk

I'm off Twitter, and high on life! (morrisp), Thursday, 19 December 2019 21:01 (two months ago) link


where is the best one, You Can't Beat Tomorrow?

Οὖτις, Thursday, 19 December 2019 21:05 (two months ago) link

Whoops - forgot YCBT. Slot it above 1-2-3

I'm off Twitter, and high on life! (morrisp), Thursday, 19 December 2019 21:05 (two months ago) link

Ha ha!

I'm off Twitter, and high on life! (morrisp), Thursday, 19 December 2019 21:05 (two months ago) link

nmh is the only person who retweets the dumb memes i retweet on twitter. his tweets often make no sense to me. he seemed pretty upset about the recent rtx thing. i went hot and heavy on xi for a while - should give some of these other records a listen.

ingredience (map), Friday, 20 December 2019 06:09 (two months ago) link

I agree with that ranking pretty much.
Nightclub Version of the Eternal took about a decade to sink in. I kind of wrote it off as a perverse exercise in audience punishment, but at some point, the cd ended up in my car and I played it a few times and it clicked. Good album, subtle in it's own unique way.

A while back on one of his websites, he teased a couple new bands - The Vicksburg Occupation, City in the Country - and an "all new line-up" of Dan'l Boone. I can't find anything official online now (Neil is a prolific deleter of content), but there are traces if you're willing to go back through the Zonk! backlog.

Zonk! is Neil's youtube / podcast thing.

Mike Dixn, Tuesday, 24 December 2019 14:50 (two months ago) link

I’ve never even heard of Zonk! But I stopped tracking his online activities a while back...

(Totally forgot about Dan’l Boone; will have to revisit that one. I liked the album he did with Toth.)

The dead speak! (morrisp), Tuesday, 24 December 2019 15:30 (two months ago) link

Best Show related comedy thing headlined by whatever The Howling Hex is now

Surprise! This is tomorrow night at Baby’s All Right.
Comedy + @TheHowlingHex
Come by if you’d like 👌🏼

— Pat Byrne (@1800PATBYRNE) December 29, 2019

Mike Dixn, Sunday, 29 December 2019 18:20 (two months ago) link

Wish I could be there!

Mike Dixn, Sunday, 29 December 2019 18:21 (two months ago) link

Eager to hunt down footage. Wonder what he played. New Hex imminent?

trux tracker (edges), Monday, 30 December 2019 22:02 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

(gotta say, I don't love the new song)

dad genes (morrisp), Friday, 7 February 2020 18:53 (three weeks ago) link

Ok, I guess it’s kind of a jam...

Still, it’s in sort of a “funny“ style, esp. in light of this section from the RS interview:

”Rock and roll is what’s missing in bands these days that take a generic approach to playing that’s almost machine-like,” he adds. “We don’t need that anymore because machines can actually do it. I don’t see what the difference is between a precise human drummer playing to a click track and EDM. There’s some weak dad-rock stuff being distributed now by people my age, so I’m just trying to up the ante. I get on stage and say all the words I believe in my daily life. Not every dad can do that.”

dad genes (morrisp), Saturday, 8 February 2020 05:36 (three weeks ago) link

reading between the lines: Malkmus, Callahan & recently Oldham are now fathers.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Saturday, 8 February 2020 08:20 (three weeks ago) link

Well, so is Neil... and I doubt he’s dissing those guys!

dad genes (morrisp), Saturday, 8 February 2020 16:54 (three weeks ago) link

I like the new track, dunno if it "ups the ante" (lol) but it rocks well enough

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Saturday, 8 February 2020 17:13 (three weeks ago) link

I know, right? lol

dad genes (morrisp), Saturday, 8 February 2020 17:16 (three weeks ago) link

The Best Of... still sounds so great... his playing, the arrangements, everything just smokes. "Green Limousine" is one of my favorite traxx ever -- it's brain-melting, I can't play it loud enough!!

Mocha Sauce (morrisp), Tuesday, 11 February 2020 21:39 (two weeks ago) link


i am a horse girl (map), Tuesday, 11 February 2020 21:46 (two weeks ago) link

Surprising development, to me at least. I figured Howling Hex releases would be Bandcamp or Patreon deals after the break with Drag City.
Speaking of which:
I wonder that maybe sending Neil Hagerty $360/year might actually be worth it.

Also, I've assumed that Trux is broken up again, but that Rolling Stone thing is the first thing that I've seen that suggests so.

Mike Dixn, Sunday, 16 February 2020 22:46 (one week ago) link

Thx for the Patreon link; good to see he’s ramping up & doin’ stuff.

You have seen the heavy groups (morrisp), Sunday, 16 February 2020 22:55 (one week ago) link

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