Over the past year, Florida’s The Heavy Pets have been busy in the studio, and the group is gearing up to release their latest full-length album, Strawberry Mansion, on February 23rd. The new album—which will be released independently with some help from All Points Boats and APB Studios—marks The Heavy Pets’ first full-length studio album since 2011’s Swim Out Past The Sun, though the band has released some EPs during that seven-year period. Strawberry Mansion will be available on major streaming sites and for purchase in double vinyl, CD, and digital formats.It’s clear that the buzz around the group’s new album is growing, and given the group’s feel-good new tunes, it’s clear why. Strawberry Mansion‘s opening track, “Higher”, is a delightfully funky song with an island and some ska-like leanings. Plus, the group recently debuted the 70’s street-funk number, “Shahryar’s Rage”, and the track has over 100,000+ listens in just a couple of short weeks.Read on below to hear The Heavy Pets’ own Jeff Lloyd’s thoughts on the upcoming Strawberry Mansion, plus check out the group’s newly announced tour dates, including an album release party at Fort Lauderdale’s Culture Room on Friday, February 23rd, and an opening gig for Umphrey’s McGee at Whigfest Music & Arts Festival in Tampa, on February 18th.The Heavy Pets’ guitarists and vocalists, Jeff Lloyd and Mike Garulli, are no strangers to throwing an epic party. Most recently, the band hosted a three-set Festival After Party at Boca Raton’s The Funky Biscuit, which featured a second set that saw sit-ins from the likes of Eric Krasno, MonoNeon, DJ Logic, Tedeschi Trucks Band saxophonist Kebbi Williams, and trumpeter Ephraim Owens, highlighting how much respect the Pets have garnered in the greater jam and funk scene.The Heavy Pets With Eric Krasno, DJ Logic, MonoNeon, & The Tedeschi Trucks Band Horns – “Between The Sheets > Dewpoint”[via CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS]We had the opportunity to speak with The Heavy Pets’ lead guitarist and vocalist, Jeff Lloyd, to discuss the inspiration behind the new album, the album’s special guest collaborators, and more. Check it out below! L4LM: This is the band’s first full album since 2011’s Swim Out Past The Sun. Did it feel good to get back in the studio and make some new music?Jeff Lloyd: It felt fantastic. We focused on a series of EPs over the last few years and felt it was time to get back in and produce a full-length record. We had a ton of material ready to go, so we felt it was time again to make a longer statement. I think we really found a process that works for us—recording at a variety of South Florida studios including our own, and finishing everything at the Power Station, where we have done the bulk of our work the last few years.L4LM: I’m assuming that’s a guest vocalist on “Shahryar’s Rage”. Who are the special guests on the album?JL: Actually, no. That’s our very own Jim Wuest singing lead on “Shahryar’s Rage”, with the rest of us singing some pretty rich harmonies in the back. It’s a cool sound and very uniquely Jim. We do have some South Florida friends we are proud to have on the record, including Michael McCleary (guitarist of Surfer Blood) on trombone and Rob Smiley on saxophone for the closing track “Holy Holy.”L4LM: Is that you or Mike playing slide on “The Ibis”? Sounds very Derek Trucks-inspired. Totally digging it. JL: That’s our dear friend, the one-and-only Roosevelt Collier! Ha, I wish I could play like that. He absolutely slayed that track—took my vision to a whole different level—but this should come as no surprise to me after working with him for so many years. That’s what he does. I absolutely love the parts he laid down, and the back and forth he does with Jim on the Hammond for the solo section.L4LM: What was some inspirations for the music y’all wrote on the album? JL: “The Ibis” was literally inspired by me waking to a yard full of birds one morning and doing a little research. Fascinating creatures. “Real News” I’d written years ago and thought pretty apt for today. There is so much going on on this record, and it is taking me back to our beginnings—a group of friends with a big group of songs. I still feel we are just getting started.The Heavy Pets will celebrate the release of Strawberry Mansion with a proper album release party at Fort Lauderdale’s Culture Room on Friday, February 23rd (get tickets here). In support of the new album, The Heavy Pets will head out on the road for an extensive run of headlining dates with support from acts such as Goose, The Clock Reads, and The Steady Flow. Additional shows include appearances at Fractal Beach Music Festival at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami on February 4th and opening for Umphrey’s McGee at Whigfest Music & Arts Festival in Tampa on February 18th. Take a listen to “Higher”, and check out a full list of tour dates below.The Heavy Pets Tour DatesFEB 17 – Jacksonville, FL – 1904 Music HallFEB 18 – Tampa, FL – Whigfest*FEB 23 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Culture RoomMAR 01 – Charlotte, NC – The Rabbit HoleMAR 02 – Asheville, NC – Funkatorium, Wicked Weed BrewingMAR 03 – Savannah, GA – Barrelhouse SouthMAR 08 – Fort Collins, CO – Hodi’s Half Note**MAR 09 – Denver, CO – Be On KeyMAR 10 – Denver, CO – Be On KeyMAR 21 – Jupiter, FL – GuanabanasMAR 22 – Dunedin, FL – Spring Beer Jam, Dunedin BreweryMAR 23 – Key West, FL – Smokin’ TunaMAR 24 – Key West, FL – Smokin’ TunaMAR 25 – Key West, FL – Green ParrotAPR 07 – Davie, FL – David Posnack Jewish Community Center, Orlove AuditoriumAPR 14 – Fort Pierce, FL – Sailfish Street PartyAPR 25 – Washington, DC – Pearl Street WarehouseAPR 26 – Philadelphia, PA – Milkboy***APR 27 – Providence, RI – Fete LoungeAPR 28 – New Haven, CT – Pacific Standard TavernAPR 29 – Allston, MA – Wonder BarMAY 02 – Brooklyn, NY – Knitting FactoryMAY 03 – Manchester, NH – Jewel Music Venue****MAY 04 – Norwalk, CT – Wall Street Theater****MAY 05 – Albany, NY – The Hollow****JUN 06 – Arcata, CA – Humboldt BrewsJUN 07 – Nevada City, CA – Crazy Horse SaloonJUN 08 – San Francisco, CA – Boom Boom Room* supporting Umphrey’s McGee** w/ The Steady Flow*** w/ The Clock Reads**** w/ Goose
RIPLEY COUNTY, Ind. — The Ripley County Drug Awareness Coalition is currently searching for a new coordinator.The coordinator supports and coordinates activities of the council such as special events and educational and awareness programs.The coordinator also works closely with Executive Committee members, news media, and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.If you are interested or would like more information call Becci Allen at 812-560-6463.
Major League Baseball owners elected a new commissioner, Rob Manfred, on Thursday. Manfred will succeed Bud Selig to the job in January 2015.For a handful of Dodgers players who volunteered an opinion, this was good news.“I think when (MLB Players Association director) Tony Clark came out and said he was happy with the decision, that probably put a lot of players at ease,” infielder Darwin Barney said. “That’s what it did for me. When I read that he had worked with (Manfred) for a long time and Clark came out publicly saying that we like this decision, that makes a lot of us benign to the whole thing and we could come to work every single day, go to work and go about our business.”Manfred, 55, has a long background in labor law. He represented the owners’ negotiating committee during the players’ strike of 1994-95. That was the last work stoppage in the sport. But that association didn’t hurt Manfred’s reputation in the eyes of Barney and Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, both of whom have experience representing teams to the Players Association.“The last two decades have been pretty good for baseball,” Kershaw said. “The direction we’re headed is pretty good. But if I was him, I would try to just kind of keep it status quo.”Manfred has been a full-time MLB employee since 1998, first as its Executive Vice President for Labor Relations and Human Resources. He played a direct role in the successful renewals of baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2002, 2006 and 2011.In 2013, Manfred was named Chief Operating Officer of MLB. Since Selig announced he was retiring at the end of the season, Manfred was seen as the heir apparent.According to multiple reports out of Baltimore, where the owners met Wednesday and Thursday, three rounds of votes were taken before Manfred had enough support to gain election. By the third round, the vote was unanimous. Team president Stan Kasten represented the Dodgers at the meeting along with chairman Mark Walter. Kasten described Manfred as “a very close friend for 25 years.” “He’s as bright a person as you’ll ever find, intellectually,” Kasten said. “As great a passion for this sport as anyone you’ll ever meet, and a mastery of details involving absolutely every facet of our business — legal, business, on-field — so he’s just a wonderful choice.”The longstanding friendship between Kasten and Manfred raises the possibility that the Dodgers might host an All-Star Game sooner rather than later. Kasten hopes this is the case; the game hasn’t been played in Los Angeles since 1980.Expanding MLB’s footprint around the globe was among Selig’s top priorities later in his tenure as commissioner. For the Dodgers, that meant flying to Sydney, Australia, in March to begin the regular season against the Arizona Diamondbacks.With Manfred in charge, Kasten said he doesn’t see the Dodgers playing overseas for at least another two years.Selig has not taken an active role in the Dodgers’ most pressing off-field issue: The ongoing negotiations between Time Warner Cable and other major providers to carry SportsNet LA, the Dodgers’ team-owned network. Since its inception in March, the network is unavailable to a reported 70 percent of Southern California households.A number of local congressmen recently asked the Federal Communications Commission to mediate negotiations. Another letter proposed that TWC and DirecTV enter a “binding arbitration” process to settle the dispute. While the FCC hasn’t taken any formal action since those letters were sent, it’s possible — if not likely — that the government will move more quickly than Selig or Manfred on this matter.Selig has at least paid lip service to the growing length of baseball games. The average game lasts longer than three hours and is getting longer every year. This was the first issue Dodgers manager Don Mattingly mentioned when asked to identify the commissioner’s top priorities.“You’ve got to keep trying to get that down,” Mattingly said. “Our demographics. You want younger kids playing, younger kids watching the game. I think those are some of the issues.”Another issue close to the hearts of some Dodgers players might reach the commissioner’s office sooner.Carl Crawford recently began sponsoring a Little League team from Chicago whose players are all African-American. The 33-year-old outfielder from Houston said the all African-American Little League he grew up playing in no longer exists.As the percentage of African-American players in MLB dwindles to rates not seen since the 1950s, should the commissioner be doing more?Crawford said it would be among his top priorities.“I think we should be doing everything possible to try to get black kids playing baseball again,” he said. “The numbers are getting lower and lower every year.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error